Police officer’s defense rests after expert testimony over battery during protest in Broward

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Fort Lauderdale police officer’s trial over a battery during a protest continued for the fourth day with expert testimony on Friday in Broward County court.

Prosecutors have a video showing Officer Steven Pohorence’s interaction with a woman who was kneeling during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020 near the Broward County Main Library.

Carlos Gonzalez, an expert on law enforcement’s use of force, was a defense witness. He said Pohorence used a police tactic to help a fellow police officer.

“I saw what I describe as a swim maneuver,” Gonzalez said in court. “He stepped through and swam over.”

Gonzalez said Pohorence was responding to a call for help by an officer who was afraid because a crowd of protesters surrounded him and were shaking a car.

The victim was not part of such a group. Prosecutors said she was on the ground. The defense rested their case. The judge asked jurors to return at 2 p.m., on Monday, to listen to closing arguments.

If convicted of misdemeanor battery, Pohorence could face up to a year in prison.

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.