SUNRISE, Fla. – Former Boca Raton Police Chief Andrew Scott gave a close look to body camera video that has led to a Sunrsie police sergeant being relieved of duty.
Scott said both officers were in the wrong, but the sergeant never should have done what he did. He said the incident isn’t simple or clear cut.
“It’s embarrassing for the agency,” Scott said.
The video shows the sergeant place his hands on the neck of a fellow offier during an arrest.
“First and foremost, the sergeant should have never touched the officer under no circumstances,” said Scott.
He said to understand the act, you need to look at the whole picture.
The start of the video, before the incident in question, shows Sunrise officers trying to arrest a man. They seem to have a bit of a hard time, and that is when Sgt.. Christopher Pullease arrives to the scene with pepper spray in hand.
“You can see the suspect immediately comply once he sees the can out,” Scott said. “Should have been the end of the encounter.”
What Scott doesn’t understand is why Pullease goes further into the patrol car, believing that is what sparked the response from the fellow officer.
“That period of time when the sergeant climbed in further in the back seat of the car, could have prompted the female officer to think that the sergeant was going to punch the suspect,” Scott said.
At that point, the female officer runs toward Pullease and grabs his belt. He turns and grabs her neck while pushing her backwards.
“We see the female officer start to charge and rush towards the supervisor’s back, what you don’t see is any of the surrounding officers moving in that direction,” Scott said. “So either she saw something or thought she saw something or perceived she thought something was going to occur.”
Scott added: “Let’s make it clear that we’ve got two wrongs here.”
The former chief goes on to say that the female officer shouldn’t have pulled Pullease back unless there was an immediate threat, which he feels like she might have seen or heard.
The body camera video released by police did not have the audio attached.
There continues to be no comment from the Sunrise police chief as the internal affairs investigation is ongoing.