The Boynton Beach Police Department in South Florida is being sued amidst claims several of their officers brutally beat a man in August 2014 after a high speed chase.
The plaintiff, Byron Harris, alleges in the suit that he was severely beaten and that Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz wanted to get rid of the helicopter video that captured the beat down.
The lawsuit was filed this week. All charges against Harris were dismissed once prosecutors learned of the beating.
On Aug. 20, 2014, Harris ran a stop sign which prompted Boynton Beach police officer Justin Harris to initiate a traffic stop. Apparently, Harris had warrants and drove off, prompting a chase.
During the chase, Harris struck Officer Jeff Williams as he was attempting to lay out stop sticks; Officer Williams was severely injured.
It was then that Harris finally stopped his vehicle and put his hands up, initiating surrender.
But several officers rushed towards Harris’s vehicle and threw him to the ground, while violently hitting, punching, kicking, kneeing, and tasering him.
The video from a police helicopter pans away from the scene once the beating starts.
The lawsuit goes on to detail how several other officers from the Florida police department stood nearby watching the beating take place without intervening to stop the attack.
In his lawsuit, Harris also alleges that officers submitted fabricated police reports that were, “false, laden with omissions, and which stated that the plaintiff and his passengers resisted arrest, refused to exit the vehicle and otherwise fought with officers.”
Byron was arrested and faced charges of aggravated battery on a law-enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding police, violating probation and resisting arrest without violence. Months later, all charges were dropped because of the excessive force used against Harris by the Boynton Beach Police Department.
Boynton Police Department is Melting Pot for Misconduct
Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz called on the FBI to investigate the matter. But what is alarming is the fact that Chief Katz attempted to dispose of the video, according to a veteran police officer who claimed he was retaliated against for speaking to the FBI about the incident.
Boynton Beach Police Sergeant Leif Broberg filed his suit in October, according to CBS Miami.
A longtime Boynton Beach Police officer says his job is in jeopardy after he accused high-ranking members of the department of trying to cover up a video of an arrest and he’s filing a suit over it.
The lawsuit is against the city and Police Chief Jeffrey Katz since he says they are threatening to fire him.
Sgt. Leif Broberg, a 24-year veteran with the department, was placed on administrative leave in May after he spoke to federal investigators. South Florida media outlets are reporting that Broberg filed a lawsuit earlier this month.
Broberg says he is being punished for talking to FBI agents about an August 2014 video that he says shows officers beating and kicking suspect Byron Harris after a high-speed chase.
The only reason the video was finally released was because relentless defense attorney’s for Harris continued to file public records request to retrieve it.
In retaliation for “snitching” Chief Katz threatened to fire Sgt. Broberg.
The Chief wrote to city leaders referring to Sgt. Broberg:
” [He] exhibited conduct unbecoming of an officer, unsatisfactory conduct, insubordination, neglect of duty and other actions that could easily affect the order, efficiency and safe operation of the city’s business.”
In his suit, Broberg accuses the chief of tortious interference and Whistleblower Protect Act violations.