Alleged battery victim testifies in ex-police officer’s trial in Broward

A victim testified in court during a Hollywood Police Department officer's trial on Friday in Broward County.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A man testified on Friday in Broward County court about the Friday nearly three years ago when a police officer struck him while he was in handcuffs.

Surveillance video shows Matthew Barbieri, then a Hollywood Police Department officer, striking Raymond Schachner, Jr., twice on Aug. 6, 2019, according to prosecutors.

During his testimony in Fort Lauderdale, Schachner said Barbieri and Officer Diante Roots entered his efficiency in Hollywood and found him naked inside a bathroom with drugs.

“I was having a very rough time at that point in my life,” Schachner said.

Barbieri and Roots were responding to a domestic disturbance at the home near the intersection of Cleveland Street and North 24th Avenue. His father had called 911 on that Friday to report his son was using heroin and being disruptive.

“Wait a minute! Nobody gave you permission to search the house! You don’t have a warrant or nothing! No permission,” Schachter said before Barbieri struck him, according to the surveillance video.

Barbieri claims Schachner, who was acting erratically and screaming, lunged at him as he was trying to preserve evidence.

Roots also testified in court on Friday. Kevin Gardiner, Barbieri’s defense attorney, asked, “You never saw Matt strike Mr. Schachner Jr. with a closed fist?”

Roots said he didn’t. Gardiner said an “open-handed smack” is a “non-lethal tactic” that police officers are trained to use.

“You’re taught when using that technique not to go soft, right?”

Roots and Gardiner agreed officers are trained to use enough force to “essentially stun the person.”

Barbieri is facing a battery charge.

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About the Authors:

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.