Fort Lauderdale officer on video making rough arrest has history with use of force incidents

A Fort Lauderdale police officer is under investigation for punching a man several times while he was on the ground.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A police officer is about to be sued for punching a man several times while he was on the ground.

The arrested man was left bloodied and bruised.

Local 10 has learned that the officer involved has been involved with dozens of use of force incidents.

Body camera footage shows the moment Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Alexander Paul punched Francisco Moore in the face outside The Wharf bar in Fort Lauderdale, knocking him back several feet.

“All I can remember is getting sucker punched and I just kind of blacked out from there,” Moore said. “I was telling them we were leaving, we were leaving, and then they weren’t really allowing us to leave.”

The incident happened on Feb. 21.

Security kicked out the group Moore was with after one of the women allegedly got into an altercation with someone inside.

Once they were outside and leaving, officers tried to stop them.

According to the police report, Paul, working an off-duty security job at the bar, claims he found Moore outside, “in a brawl,” claiming Moore used a “...racial African American slur,” and, “Punched me in the head.”

Moore and his attorney say none of that is true, and that video shows what did happen.

“What’s pretty clear here is he’s not doing anything to any of the officers,” said attorney Gustavo Frances. “He’s holding his jacket, he’s holding Ms. DeJesus…and then winds up with a right hook, which lays him back at least ten feet.”

Video then shows Moore curled up on the ground, being punched and kicked. Paul lands at least five punches to Moore’s face as he lies on the pavement.

“I still can’t wrap my head around it,” Moore said. “I don’t understand why it had to escalate like that.”

Moore is the latest person to accuse Paul of abusing his power.

The State Attorney’s office told Local 10 their investigation is ongoing into whether Paul was justified in an incident in 2019, when he shot a man at the city’s main bus terminal.

“Yet he’s still out here,” said Frances. “Working, allegedly protecting the public and engaging in brawls.”

According to Fort Lauderdale police, Officer Paul has been involved in 74 use of force incidents since starting on the force in 2015, and he was cleared of wrongdoing in each.

FLPD includes any time an officer draws their weapon and points it at someone as a use of force incident.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.