Judge agrees with ex-Homestead officer, charge dropped over video showing shoving incident

Stand Your Ground argument used as defense

In December 2018, a video captured Homestead police officer Lester Brown shoving a handcuffed inmate. Now a judge has dropped charges against the officer.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – The surveillance video from December 2018 is tough to watch. Former Homestead police officer Lester Brown appears to shove a handcuffed inmate in a holding area. The inmate bangs into the wall and goes down. The inmate is later taken to the hospital.

Brown was arrested.

A felony battery charged against former Homestead police officer Lester Brown was dropped after a judge agreed with a Stand Your Ground defense. (WPLG)

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced in August 2019 during a press conference that Brown was facing “felony battery, which is a third-degree felony and official misconduct.”

His attorney Anthony Genova says that, almost four years later, a judge has dropped the felony battery case against his client. Genova agrees that the video is disturbing.

“It’s disturbing the first time you look at it, it’s disturbing the tenth time you look at it.”

“It’s not hindsight because it’s a split-second decision so with that in mind we went through the video frame by frame.”

His argument was Stand Your Ground and Genova says that the inmate was eye to eye with Brown and the holding area was small.

“My client doesn’t want to get a head butt, he doesn’t want to get spit on. He created that small amount of distance. This individual was handcuffed, heavily intoxicated, trips forward and gets this cut.”

A judge apparently agreed.

Meanwhile, Brown is off the force and just coming to grips with the news.

“He says it’s still a dream,” his attorney says. “I don’t know what his plans are. I think any community would be blessed to have an officer like Lester Brown on the force,” Genova says.

There is still an official misconduct charge, but Brown’s attorney expects that to be dropped, too.


About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.