Video: Florida Police Officers Charge Man With Assaulting Them After One Beats Him Without Provocation and Another Tasers Him In The Face

bildeWe have another case of a citizen cleared of a charge after review of a videotape. Officer Derek Middendorf of the Melbourne Florida Police is shown in the tape attacking Albert Flowers, 66, without provocation. As shown in the video below, he not only attacked Flowers but tried to disable his dash camera before the attack. After Middendorf assaults Flowers, another officer tasers Flowers in the face.

Flowers was charged with two crimes that appears facially at odds: assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence. Presumably, he first attacked Middendorf and then resisted without violence. The first problem is that you can be charged with resisting without violence, a crime so ambiguous that it invites abuse. The second problem is that he didn’t assault Middendorf.

Middendorf’s report says that ““Flowers walked towards him in an aggressive manner” and “refused to stop at a safe distance.” So that is justification for kicking him in the groin and proceeding to beat him down?

Middendorf thought that he had disabled his camera but the film was able to be extracted later.

What is astonishing is that statement of Wayne Holmes, chief of staff for the Brevard State Attorney’s Office, when his office belatedly dropped the charges: “although there is probable cause to support the legality of the arrest, a full review of the in-car video, the written reprimand by the Melbourne police of their officer’s actions that prevented an audio recording, and the documented mental health history of the defendant would not support a successful prosecution.”

In listening to Mr. Holmes, it is easy to see why Melbourne officers think that they can assault citizens. “[P]robable cause to support the legality of the arrest”? Exactly where does Holmes see that? Middendorf spent most of his time trying to disable his camera and barely spoke to Flowers before assaulting him. Holmes gets this week’s Anita Alvarez Award For Willful Blindness In The Face Of Police Abuse.

Now here is the real kicker. Middendorf is still on the force and there is no indication of discipline for assaulting the man. He was disciplined for tampering with the camera. Why wouldn’t an officer be simply fired for tampering with a camera before an assault? How about firing him for the assault or the less than truthful police report?

Source: Florida Today

54 thoughts on “Video: Florida Police Officers Charge Man With Assaulting Them After One Beats Him Without Provocation and Another Tasers Him In The Face”

  1. travelinglimey 1, March 16, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Drinking was permitted so my trumped up charge was underage drinking at age 24.



    How’d they get you for underage drinking at 24?? Did you contest?

  2. OT, related to the Adrian Schoolcraft info posted earlier:

    An Officer Had Backup: Secret Tapes

    Published: March 13, 2012

    One night in October 2009, a team of police officers, led by a deputy chief, raided the home of a police officer named Adrian Schoolcraft, and dragged him out of his bed and to the psychiatric emergency room at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. He was held for six days in a locked ward. No judge was involved. There was no hearing.

    The decision to take him to the hospital was made solely by armed men who happened to be his superior officers in the Police Department with a vested interest in shutting him up.

    For more than a year, Officer Schoolcraft had been collecting information about what appeared to be illegal arrests and manipulation of crime statistics in the 81st Precinct, in Brooklyn. Along the way, he secretly recorded orders from supervisors to lock up people without cause. He also documented cases in which armed robberies were classified as “lost property” cases. A few weeks before he was seized in his home, he met with investigators for the Internal Affairs Bureau and told them about what he had uncovered. He began recording after his bosses accused him of loafing because he was not meeting their goals for arrests and summonses.

    To date, neither Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg nor Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly have publicly discussed why Officer Schoolcraft was thrown into a psychiatric ward. On Tuesday, that silence continued: both the city’s Law Department and the Police Department declined to discuss the Schoolcraft situation because he is now suing the city.

    A secret police inquiry into Officer Schoolcraft’s charges vindicated his account of crime report manipulation, but its findings only became public thanks to reporting by Graham Rayman, a writer for The Village Voice. Disciplinary charges have been brought or are pending against several officers.

    However, the sole public documentation of the forced hospitalization comes from recordings made by Officer Schoolcraft, portions of which were posted online with a Village Voice article. In addition, the public radio show “This American Life” did a report on Officer Schoolcraft’s case that included excerpts.

    ACCORDING to a federal lawsuit filed by Officer Schoolcraft, a supervisor spent half of the day on Oct. 31, 2009, copying pages from Officer Schoolcraft’s notebook, which included detailed accounts of what he had viewed as misconduct. Alarmed by this and not feeling well, the suit says, Officer Schoolcraft asked and received permission from a sergeant to leave an hour before the end of his shift.

    Around 6:30 p.m., a group of police officers arrived outside Officer Schoolcraft’s apartment in Queens. He did not answer the door, and they entered three hours later, using the landlord’s key.

    Among those who showed up were Deputy Chief Michael Marino, a senior police official in Brooklyn, and Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, the commander of the 81st Precinct.

    Although police supervisors would later tell the psychiatric staff at the hospital that Officer Schoolcraft had barricaded himself in his home and run from them, the recording does not support that version. Officer Schoolcraft sounds calm — a term used to describe him in the hospital reports, which also stated that he had no “significant psychiatric symptoms.”

    “Get your stuff on,” Inspector Mauriello said. “We’re going back to the precinct.”

    “I’m not going back to the precinct,” Officer Schoolcraft responded. The inspector said they needed to investigate why he had left early, and Officer Schoolcraft said it was because he was not feeling well. They sparred verbally for a minute. Chief Marino interrupted.

    “Listen to me, I’m a chief in the New York City Police Department, and you’re a police officer,” the chief said. “So this is what’s going to happen, my friend. You’ve disobeyed an order. And the way you’re acting is not right.”

    “Chief, if you were woken up in your house ——” Officer Schoolcraft began.

    “Stop right there, son,” the chief said.

    “—— how would you behave?” Officer Schoolcraft continued.

    “Son, I’m doing the talking right now, not you,” the chief said.

    “In my apartment,” Officer Schoolcraft said.

    “In your apartment,” Chief Marino said. “You are going ——”

    “Is this Russia?” Officer Schoolcraft said.

    Told he was going to be suspended, the officer said that they should write him up. A paramedic found that Officer Schoolcraft’s blood pressure was very high, but he said he was refusing medical assistance. The inspector and the chief said he was acting irrationally, and the chief ordered him handcuffed. As he was brought to the floor, a small recorder was discovered in his clothing.

    “Recording devices, and everything else,” Chief Marino said. “So he’s playing a game here. Cute.”

    In fact, another recorder, on a bookshelf, was still running. “It didn’t have to be like this,” Chief Marino is heard saying.

    At that moment, the lawsuit charges, the chief had his boot on Officer Schoolcraft’s face.

  3. When pi…uh, “cops” commit crimes and are caught (such as in this case), they should be deemed guilty automatically without trial and sentenced to longer prison terms than you or I would get. They are supposed to know and enforce the law, but instead act as if they are above it.

    Turley will need to explain again why we are not allowed to refer to the boys with blue balls as belonging to the suidae species.

  4. Yes, these videos of police brutality are sickening! My video loaded too slowly’ but I saw enough. Ever since I first came to America in 1970, I considered it a police state to a marked degree. Obviously blacks have it worse. (I’m white Anglo Saxon) My first encounter with police ignoring the rule of law was to be arrested for drinking from a bottle of Boones Farm Strawberry wine on private land at a concert in the country (like No Houses!) in Texas. Drinking was permitted so my trumped up charge was underage drinking at age 24.
    Knowing how bad they are in this country I’ve been pretty careful since. But I still got arrested for trying to put up a legal political sign just before the 2004 presidential election. The charge was trespass, even though I had a letter of permision from the owner, a bill of sale for rent paid & a city (San Bernardino, Ca) political permit. The cop refused to even look at the paperwork until he had me in handcuffs & I was locked in the back of a cop car while the cops permitted a rival gang (San Bernardino Valley Water Board) to knock the sign down.
    I was also held in a 50 degree Farenheit cell until being booked at 10pm from a noon time arrest. I thought they would drop the charges but they went on with the araignment & I had to pay a lawyer the standard $1500 minimum required in this country to BEGIN to get justice. Once the prosecution saw I had a lawyer, they dropped it, & I was unable to get anyone to take up a civil case against the San Bernardino City police.
    My sign was a painted “Anybody But Bush!” 4′ x 8′ billboard. It was just myself versus about 30 water board employees from truck drivers to suits, whose bosses were renting part of the same lot for customer parking. My sign did not interfere with their usage but the boss liked Bush & had already demolished my first sign (theft/vandalism report to SB police was ignored). Incidentally I have changed my opinion about the Oval Office now that we have had 2 presidents since 9/11.
    ‘Anybody but…’ will no longer work. It now appears that the LATEST president, if he’s one of the chosen two, will be WORSE than the LAST! After the Patriot Act, I did not think there could be a more rapid attack on our freedoms, rights, Constitution, etc but I was WRONG! Obama is now worse than Bush. The left/right rhetoric is just a smokescreen. Of course, if someone like Ron Paul got in & didn’t get bumped off (on the basis that all assassinations in this country would appear to be inside jobs) there would be a difference.
    By the way, Ron Paul is calling for the coroner report to disclose if the Sandy Hook killer was on psychiatric drugs or withdrawing from them. The parents have petitioned to get the report but its politics as usual: 1. Dilute the 2nd Amendment instead. 2. Pour more money into mental health but don’t get this or other vital information needed to make correct decisions. The usual bunch of idiots will debunk this last paragraph as I see some of them are here.

  5. David Blauw,

    Thanks for the update. I had missed that post.


    Hope to read a rant or two right after 3/21!

  6. Almost completely impossible to fire cops today. Their organizations lobby politicans to create these laws so that even when chiefs/sheriffs/mayors want to fire these awful cops, they are almost always reistated.


    Wayne Holmes, chief of staff for the Brevard State Attorney’s Office, said that “although there is probable cause to support the legality of the arrest, a full review of the in-car video, the written reprimand by the Melbourne police of their officer’s actions that prevented an audio recording, and the documented mental health history of the defendant would not support a successful prosecution.”

    Had all of this information been available to the intake attorney, the case would not have been filed, Holmes said.

    The incident involving Flowers and Middendorf was reviewed in its full context last October, said Mike Moore, public information officer for the city of Melbourne.

    Neither the department nor the city have received any formal complaint regarding it, he said.

    “Due to the indication that this may evolve into litigation wherein the incident may yet again be reviewed by an appropriate authority, we will reserve further comment,” Moore said.

  8. As I said, when I called I was told that Mr. Flowers had an attorney. All charges were dropped, including any against the officer, after an internal investigation. Outrageous.

  9. I hope this city has very good insurance so that this victim can teach them a financial lesson. Both of these cops should be fired and brought up on assault charges.

  10. It looked to me like the officer was trying to get the guy to come to him. And it looked to me like the guy was approaching him calmly in a very normal manner to see what he wanted him for. And THEN it looks to me like he got suckerkicked by Stone Cold. This cop is a frickin THUG! And what were all those cops DOING to him while he was on the ground and they were on him? I didn’t see them beating him (thank God, because lots of them do). Was he unconscious from the taser? The man wasn’t even MOVING when they tased him! Sheeesh, he was probably about knocked out by that kick! And great DAY! The poor guy had dementia on top of all that? Poor DUDE! No wonder he was in the hospital for a month.

    The only question on payment of the hospital expenses would be how fast the City could start garnishing this thug’s wages from the next job he gets after they can his behind! This man should be personally liable for reimbursing the City for payment of these injuries. This is just sick!

    These cops get blind guys, deaf guys (they killed that one), epileptics having seizures, and now someone with dementia. Why isn’t this cop being tried in court? He needs to serve time for this (and THEN they can take his money for medical payments after he’s released in 15 years).

    These things keep happening over and over and over again, because NOBODY is hurting these guys where it hurts. The CITIES and COUNTIES wind up paying (which means us, basically). It doesn’t come out of THEIR paychecks so it hurts them not one whit! And the cops themselves are never fired. This will not stop until these people are actually punished for doing these things!

  11. Once again police brutality , even when videotaped and fully documented, results in no discipline for the offending officers. What happened to Rodney King is repeated on a daily basis by the fascist thugs who supposedly protect and serve.the community. What Florida needs is another Rodney King type of riot and then, and only then, will the police department take any corrective action to fire such brutal morons as the police involved in this senseless beating of a senior citizen. So, as Stokely Carmichael so aptly put it BURN BABY BURN

  12. I would think the attempted disablement of the on board video capture goes directly to “INTENT”…
    … After all, the question that begs to be asked is, what was he attempting to NOT have the video capture?

  13. The guy needs a good civil rights attorney. The taser is a deadly weapon. The opCay is a state actor for purposes of civil rights liability. Assault with intent to kill with a deadly weapon causing damage to person and emotional distress subjecting the opCay and his superior and the city to liability for actual damages with punitive damages recoverable against the opCay and the Superior. Atty fees on top of the damage award. Federal Court. Jury trial. Go gettem.
    If the opCay takes the position that the taser is harmless then subpoena his mother in for a deposition and propose that she be tasered on video. Taser booby traps on opCays in that town might stifle their inclination to abuse humans so much. ” Look Harold, an ice cream cake here in the park bench.” Bing. Taser in the puss.

  14. it does look like roid rage.

    looks like mr flowers will be getting his version of the florida lottery paid by the citizens of melbourne.

  15. Now consider the fact that every time this officer or ones like him, are in court, that the judges will take their word as the gospel.

  16. jim,

    thanks for the phone number. I called. I was told that the incident happened over a year ago. All charges were dropped, including whatever charges were against the officer.

  17. Because people do not see a final Judgment will do what that Policeman did flying off the handle because of a video camera. What Police do is what Sodomites wanted to do to Lot, and is family.

  18. Don’t Complain Here….Tell them how you feel, make formal complaints, if enough people speak up they cannot ignore it, the problem that allows these actions and LEO’s to keep their jobs is just that. People have plenty to say on FB, Twitter, or random comment box, but nobody wants to take a second a make a formal complaint where it could actually matter..”If you have questions about any specific action taken by the Melbourne Police Department, how the department operates, or have a recommendation on how we can improve our law enforcement services, please call the Melbourne Police Department at 321/409-2200.”

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