“We Then Escorted Gonzalez To The Ground”: Two Florida Deputies Under Investigation After Videotape Shows Suspect Being Punched In The Face and Slammed Into The Pavement

bso-brutality2Two Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies are under investigation after a videotape was discovered showing a deputy punching David Gonzalez in the face and then the deputies slamming him into the pavement. As shown by his mugshot, Gonzales was injured, including broken bones in his face. The officers have been identified as deputies Justin Lambert and Mike Manresa. They reportedly claimed that Gonzalez was drunk and resisting arrest but that is not what the videotape below indicates. The officers said that Gonzalez was abrasive and yelling at them and added “We then escorted Gonzalez to the ground.” That “escort” was preceded by a punch to the face before sending him face first into concrete.

Gonzalez, 50, says that he was merely speaking with the officers and trying to defend himself verbally when he was punched twice and then slammed into the pavement outside of a Texaco gas station in Deerfield Beach. He may have been intoxicated (a witness corroborated that fact) but the video is clearly at odds with what the officers reportedly claimed in their report.

Gonzales suffered a broken orbital bone as well as a cut over his eye. He was charged with resisting arrest without violence. That later part is key. The officers did not claim that Gonzalez was violent and yet he ended up with broken bones in his face.

Gonzalez is reportedly preparing a federal lawsuit for false arrest and excessive force. The first claim is particularly interesting since there does appear to be at least one witness confirming that he was drunk. However, he was not charged with public intoxication or disturbing the peace. Likewise, while the witness says that he stole candy and tried to trade a watch for beer, he was given only a warning on trespass at the scene. The charge was resisting without force. Nevertheless, it is the second charge that has the most promise in light of the video.

Notably, media reports state that three months ago, the department paid $350,000 to settle a federal lawsuit involving Deputy Lambert, who allegedly beat another Broward citizen. Lambert was accused of “striking, pummeling and pounding” a party host after responding to a noise complaint in Dania Beach back in 2009.

We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. (For prior columns, click here and here). Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, these abuses continue.

The video contradiction of the police account is all too familiar on this blog. Of course, in Dallas, Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed a new policy that would require officers involved in a shooting to wait 72 hours before making a statement. The policy came after a scandal where a surveillance video showed one of Brown’s officers shooting a mentally ill suspect for no apparent reason. The video contradicted the officer’s testimony and undermined the charge against the victim. Brown’s solution was not greater disciplining and monitoring of officers but to impose a delay to allow officers to craft their statements.

The question is why Lambert was allowed back on the streets if the earlier account of the settled lawsuit is true. Moreover, there is the question as to the possibility of both criminal charges in this incident or whether both officers will be terminated if this tape is found to be an accurate account of what occurred. We have often seen officers charge victims of abuse with resisting arrest only for those charges to be dropped later. However, officers are often left on the force — even when thousands are paid out in civil damages or settlements.

Source: Local 10

32 thoughts on ““We Then Escorted Gonzalez To The Ground”: Two Florida Deputies Under Investigation After Videotape Shows Suspect Being Punched In The Face and Slammed Into The Pavement”

  1. If you want change, get a law passed that says that amounts paid out via settlement or judgment based on excessive force (and similar) claims can be recouped by the government from the salaries and retirement benefits of the officers involved in the incident.

  2. This is a clearly excessive use of force. The false statement should be indicated as well.

    Something also to be investigated is why two officers corroborated with each other to hide this assault.

    1. Darren – could not agree more. They should all be charged and tried. Until that happens enough, we are going to see this happen.

  3. Just one more example of police officers abusing their authority. The video proves that the report filed was a fabrication. The family should sue and force the city to pay even more money due to their out of control police officers and their superiors.

    1. rafflaw – we both know that this is not going to be solved by a lawsuit. It is going to be solved by firing officers who behave like this and then not standing behind their actions. He will not make enough to make a dent in the city’s insurance coverage.

  4. I love how he was charged for resisting arrest, but nothing else. What was he being arrested for?!?! If there is no underlying charge, he should not be able to be charged for resisting arrest.

  5. Dredd – the DOJ which as been accused of racism for its own behavior, has a monitor at the LAPD, as they do with NYPD. The group dynamic the DOJ are pushing is just as racist as the one they were trying to stop.

  6. I sure wouldn’t have wanted this guy escorting my daughter to the prom.

  7. Obviously by definition one person is not any kind of group, good or bad.

    The point Sigmund Freud was making is that groups cannot be psychoanalyzed in the same manner as an individual.

    It us unethical to diagnose an individual in the absence of a personal visit an examination.

    That can’t be done with a group, so different techniques are required.

    That has never been officially done to this day over a century after Freud suggested it was important.

    Thus, we have many crazy groups that officialdom thinks it can stop by dealing with a leading individual inside the group.

    Dealing punishment to an individual within a crazy group does not affect that group.

    Like the Borg.

    The overseers, such as a City Counsel, must deal with the group itself.

    That is what the DOJ did to the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Dept.) … took over the group and cleansed it of its bad group dynamics by ushering in group behavioral controls.

    They way JT describes this police department, they seem to be a rogue group that needs “group therapy” of the advanced kind.

    1. patrickhenry – not just resisting arrest, but resisting arrest without violence.

  8. Dredd: “I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.” – Sigmund Freud

    See, Dred the point is that this jerk of a cop is obviously not a member of a ‘civilized society.’ Anyone who would say they ‘escorted him to the ground’ is an obvious sociopath.

    1. kraaken – the officer is probably also guilty of symbolic racism.

  9. College men are raping college women and cops are abusing suspects. Release all in prison for drug possession related crimes and put the real criminals in jail!

  10. Police are becoming like Justice Holmes, who considered handing out of leaflets to be “a clear and present danger” to the United States because people might believe what they said:

    Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), is a United States Supreme Court decision concerning enforcement of the Espionage Act of 1917 during World War I. A unanimous Supreme Court, in a famous opinion by Justice … Holmes … concluded that defendants who distributed leaflets to draft-age men, urging resistance to induction, could be convicted of an attempt to obstruct the draft, a criminal offense. The First Amendment did not alter the well established law in cases where the attempt was made through expressions that would be protected in other circumstances. In this opinion, Holmes said that expressions which in the circumstances were intended to result in a crime, and posed a “clear and present danger” of succeeding, could be punished.

    (Wikipedia on Justice Holmes). One wonders if cigars are the same as leaflets just because someone wants to believe they are, and that therefore the police can consider them an non-violent resistance to their authority and make an arrest.

    Speaking of cigars (It Takes A Cigar Culture To Raise A Compulsive Liar).

  11. This is what happens when the cops who abuse their authority suffer no consequences for that abuse. Pig Justin Lambert violently assaults people and the taxpayers pick up the bill (if there’s video). How many more crimes has that disgusting filth of a human committed that we don’t know about?

  12. Dredd – Freud also said “Sometimes a cigar, is just a cigar.”

  13. I certainly support the civil rights remedy. But perhaps there is another remedy. The state police certification boards can revoke a license to be a policeman. I believe that 46 states have police certification boards.

    There is yet another remedy for police chiefs to impose. Turnabout is fair play. Review the video and have some huge burley guy smack the cop in the face and throw him face down onto concrete. Fire the Chief is he does not discipline the igPay.

  14. Assume that a police force is a “civilized community”, a group, or “a culture.”

    Then consider Sigmund Freud’s hope that he was not able to attain in his lifetime because he had too much else to do as the “Father of Psychoanalysis”:

    The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities.

    (Social Dementia Causes Heated Misunderestimations – 3 , formatting removed). It gives new meaning … which some took note of in times past:

    “I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.” – Sigmund Freud

    “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    “The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    1. Dredd – first of all I could never assume that a police force was a civilized community. Therefore I reject the rest of your argument.

  15. Cost of being Hispanic and arrested in broward county…….

  16. Think we need to start sending these to our local representatives. I particularly like the law resisting without force. One would think you have a free speech right, even (or especially) if you are drunk.

  17. Unfortunately, we all need to fear the police. They are just as likely to taze a 71 year old grand mother as a fully grown man of any race if the person doesn’t immediately treat them with the respect they believe they are due and do it immediately. Our fear needs to turn to action. Politicians and officials who support and encourage this behavior by taking no action to curb it and in some cases praise it need to be fired and exposed.

    Police see themselves as Judge Dredd, judge, jury and executioner. It disturbing that Congress has not stepped in to curb this behavior but of course that would be doing something for humans and we cannot have that!

  18. Again, cops need to take lessons from smart criminals who know cameras are everywhere.

  19. Cops have developed a whole culture of obfuscation – to paraphrase Big Daddy: “There is a culture of mendacity”.

    Somehow it has become OK for cops to lie (perhaps because their superiors and the establishment back them up).

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