SUNRISE, Fla. – A Sunrise police sergeant has been relieved of supervisory duties and is under investigation following an incident that was captured on camera.
Police body cam video shows Sgt. Christopher Pullease put his hands on another officer’s throat.
The incident happened last year on Nov. 19.
Officers were called to a convenience store along Sunset Strip. They say Jean Bernard Similien battered several people and officers were trying to place him in a patrol car.
According to Sunrise Police Chief Anthony Rosa, Similien was resisting officers.
Rosa went on to say in a written statement that, “Once the suspect was inside the patrol vehicle, the sergeant approached and engaged in a verbal altercation with the suspect in a manner that I feel was inappropriate and unprofessional. This supervisor escalated the encounter instead of de-escalating an emotionally charged situation.”
Rosa also says while speaking to the suspect, the sergeant is seen holding his can of pepper spray but didn’t use it.
That’s when a nearby officer who was concerned with things escalating further intervened.
In the video, she can be seen running to Pullease, grabbing him by his belt and pulling him backwards, away from the suspect inside the police vehicle.
Pullease then turns and aggressively grabs the officer by the neck while pushing her backwards.
Sgt. Pullease is then seen on video going back to the squad car and slamming the door before pointing and yelling back at the officer who was trying to deescalate the situation.
Rosa said he is proud of the officer who was trying to intervene, praising her good leadership during a tense situation.
Public defender Gordon Weekes sent a letter to Rosa wondering why Sgt. Pullease is on desk duty and was not arrested for his actions.
In that letter, Weekes says 410 individuals have pending cases in his office for battery on a law enforcement officer and all were immediately arrested on site. He claims officers engaged in wrongdoing should not receive different treatment.