Boynton Beach police officer guilty of using excessive force in 2014 beating

2 former police officers cleared of all charges


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida police officer has been found guilty of using excessive force in the beating of an unarmed man in 2014, but two former police officers have been cleared of all charges.

Boynton Beach police Officer Michael Brown was found guilty Thursday in federal court. Two other former police officers, Justin Harris and Ronald Ryan, were acquitted on all counts.

Brown, Harris and Ryan, along with a fourth current officer, Philip Antico, were arrested in June. They faced charges in connection with the 2014 beating of Jeffrey Braswell, who was a passenger in a car that led officers on a chase along Interstate 95.

The beating was captured on video by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office helicopter.

Prosecutors alleged that the officers initially didn't realize their actions had been recorded and made no mention of beating Braswell. However, once they watched the recording, the officers changed their reports to justify their actions, prosecutors said.

Antico is charged with filing a false report and obstructing justice during the incident. He is still awaiting trial.

"In light of the fact that there are additional court proceedings under way pertaining to the same 2014 incident, our only comment is that the men and women of the Boynton Beach Police Department remain committed to providing legally and ethically sound policing services, and that we will accept nothing less from those entrusted with this responsibility," Chief Jeffrey Katz said in a statement. 

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the victim as Byron Harris, who was driving the car.