'He should be fired': Video shows sergeant wrap his hand around an officer's neck for doing her job

2022-07-30 01:46:28 By : Mr. Jason Zhang

In many ways, the conduct of a Florida sergeant who was recently arrested and charged with assaulting a suspect is unsurprising. This is the same county, Broward, where a deputy was shown slamming the head of an unarmed Black teenager into the ground in 2019. But the crimes Sunrise Police Department Sgt. Christopher Pullease is accused of committing are unique. He was shown on body-camera video turning on a suspect—as well as physically attacking the officer who was trying to defuse a growingly intense arrest on Nov. 19, 2021.

Pullease approached the suspect detained on what the police chief described as a  “violent felony” while the suspect was  already handcuffed in the back of a squad car. Pullease was holding a can of pepper spray and told the man to “look at him,” the police video showed.

Warning: Video in this story shows police violence and profanity and may be triggering for some viewers.

RELATED STORY: Graphic video shows Florida police slamming unarmed black teenager's head into the ground

If “you gon’ mace me, mace me," the suspect told the sergeant. Pullease’s response was: "You want to play f-----g games. You want to get disrespectful with my f-----g officers, I will remove your f-----g soul from your f-----g body."

A few seconds later, an officer positioned behind Pullease pulled him by his belt away from the suspect, and Pullease responded by grabbing her neck with one of his hands and continuing his profanity-laced rant as she called to him “sir.”

Pullease told the officer not to touch him again, and then told other officers on the scene to turn off their body cameras, The Washington Post reported.

Pullease faces charges of assault on a law enforcement officer, assault on a civilian male, and one count of battery on a law enforcement officer stemming from the November incident, the Broward State Attorney’s Office said in a  news release on Thursday. He also faces an added count of tampering with evidence—his cellphone—in January of this year. 

“The sergeant is accused of intentionally touching or striking the female police officer against her will, assaulting her by holding pepper spray up to her face, and assaulting the civilian male by holding pepper spray to his face,” the sheriff’s office detailed. “ If convicted, the maximum possible penalties are five years in state prison for felony battery on a law enforcement officer, one year for assaulting a law enforcement officer, and 60 days for assault on a civilian.”

Pullease turned himself in on Thursday and was later released on a $7,500 bond, the  Miami Herald reported.

THIS is why Florida police Sgt. Christopher Pullease has been rightly charged w/ assault! Pullease grabbed a fellow officer by the throat after she attempted to stop him from using excessive force. He should be fired immediately! pic.twitter.com/yaKP0S27Dw

Sunrise Police Chief Anthony Rosa said in a statement the newspaper obtained that those in his department are expected to “intervene immediately if it appears that a fellow officer is losing control of themselves or displaying inappropriate conduct while engaged with the public.”

He said the officer who Pullease choked was acting in accordance with department policies and procedures when she grabbed the sergeant’s belt, and the chief is proud of her “exemplary” work. Rosa said after learning of the sergeant’s response, that he “immediately relieved” Pullease of his supervisory responsibilities and ordered an internal affairs investigation. “The sergeant has no contact or supervision over subordinate personnel,” Rosa said. 

Pullease’s conduct when the suspect was inside the patrol vehicle was “inappropriate and unprofessional,” Rosa said. “The supervisor escalated the encounter instead of de-escalating an emotionally charged situation.”

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who shared the body-cam video of the police violence on social media, is calling for Pullease’s termination. “Pullease grabbed a fellow officer by the throat after she attempted to stop him from using excessive force. He should be fired immediately!” Crump tweeted.