FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The battery trial for a former Hollywood police officer who is accused of hitting a handcuffed suspect resumed Wednesday.
The trial was supposed to only last a few days, but is now into its third week. It will continue in exactly two weeks following the latest hearing.
From attorneys getting sick to motions to remove the media, the trial for former Hollywood police officer Matthew Barbieri has dragged on much longer than expected.
Day five of the trial saw the state rest its case, and Barbieri’s attorneys asked the judge to throw out the case altogether.
Judge Kenneth Gottlieb said no.
During Wednesday’s hearing, video of the incident at the center of the trial was played over and over as the defense cross-examined the victim, Raymond Schachner, for hours.
On Tuesday, Local 10′s attorney argued against a motion by prosecutors for the media and public to be removed from the courtroom.
“The press is a surrogate for the public,” said attorney Karen Kammer. “All proceedings in Florida courts are presumptively open and that has been the case for decades.”
The motion was then dropped.
In a twist to the case, the state was unable to get in touch with the victim on Tuesday for him to face cross-examination.
The video at the center of Barbieri’s misdemeanor battery trial shows an encounter that happened in August 2019, when Barbieri and other Hollywood police officers responded to a domestic disturbance and found Schachner naked in his bathroom with drugs, so they handcuffed him and brought him to a hallway.
In surveillance from inside the home, Schachner can be seen yelling at Barbieri as he goes back into the bathroom to collect evidence. Then the video shows Barbieri drag Schachner back into frame before smacking him twice with an open palm.
“Wait a minute! Nobody gave you permission to search the house! You don’t have a warrant or nothing! No permission,” Schachter is heard saying in the video before Barbieri struck him.
“What I see in the video is him slapping me and grabbing my throat while I’m handcuffed behind my back,” Schachter said Wednesday.
They are now taking a two-week break because of scheduling conflicts for the attorneys and the jurors. Barbieri’s attorneys say he will be taking the stand in his own defense when they come back.