HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Testimony was expected to continue Monday in the battery trial of a former Hollywood police officer who was captured on home surveillance video striking a handcuffed suspect.
Cross-examination of the victim in the case was supposed to begin, but instead the judge ended up sending the jury home so arguments could be made regarding whether the media and the public could listen to the testimony.
Attorneys argued against the state’s motion late Monday afternoon, and those arguments are expected to continue during an evidentiary hearing on Tuesday.
The video of the incident shows Matthew Barbieri, then a Hollywood Police Department officer, striking Raymond Schachner, Jr., twice on Aug. 6, 2019, according to prosecutors.
Schachner took the stand last week, saying 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?” the attorney asked.
Roots and Gardiner agreed officers are trained to use enough force to “essentially stun the person.”
Barbieri is expected to take the stand in his own defense later on during the trial.