Boynton Beach Police Officer Found Guilty in Beating of Unarmed Man

A jury found Boynton Beach police officer Mike Brown guilty on Thursday of using excessive force in the beating of an unarmed man who was a passenger in a car that led police on a high-speed chase.

Two ex-cops who took part in the arrest, Justin Harris and Ronald Ryan, were cleared of all charges, including falsifying records to cover up the beating, which was caught on Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter footage.

Though some might have thought it would be a slam-dunk case because some of the incident was captured on video, the defense emphasized that the video did not tell the whole story.

The video, shot from several hundred feet overhead with an infrared camera shortly after 2 a.m., was fuzzy and grainy and did not capture the whole interaction between Braswell and the officers.

The defense repeatedly hammered on the theme that the overhead video did not show what the officers saw on the ground.

Brown was also convicted of using a police-issued firearm to strike the passenger.

The jury began deliberation Wednesday and came back with the verdict just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Brown faces up to 15 years in prison. The judge let the widower go home after the conviction to make arrangements for his 8-year-old son, who is undergoing psychiatric treatment after Brown’s wife died in October 2016.

Brown’s attorney, Bruce Reinhart, said the father of three also cares for his 72-year-old mother. His eldest son, who serves in the United States Navy, will likely take custody of his younger son while his 22-year-old daughter attends college.

Defense attorneys argued that the three men faced potential dangers on the ground during the chase that were imperceptible on the helicopter video, shot from hundreds of feet in the air. After the officers had a week to calm down and reflect, they made modifications to the reports.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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