Broward County Florida contains the city of Fort Lauderdale and is considered a part of the large Miami metropolitan area. South Florida is home to millions of people and hosts large amounts of tourists each year. A number of towns in the county have had recent incidents involving police misconduct and brutality, and these actions appear to be a regular topic in the local news. Continued media attention and legal action may help change problems with improper police behavior in the area.
Hallandale Beach Officers Beat a Disabled Man
Two Hallandale Beach Police officers were caught on video beating a man with a mental disability. The man, Daniel James Dunkelberger, had apparently reached into a car to steal a cellphone charger. A witness saw the interaction with police at a car wash on West Hallandale Beach Boulevard. The witness stated that the man was punched and shot with a taser several times after he was already detained and in handcuffs. Another witness said the victim was known around the community as someone with mental health issues and he was alarmed when he heard the man screaming and saw him bleeding from his head. The video portion of the incident that has been shared shows the officers delivering clear blows to the man with batons after he has already been subdued. Multiple witnesses can also be heard yelling and protesting against their violent actions.
The Hallandale Beach Police Department has identified the two suspected officers as Jaime Cerna and Richard Allen, who have both been with the department for over a decade. They have both been suspended without pay as the incident is investigated further. The department spokesperson stated that there will be an internal affairs investigation and all available surveillance from the area will be analyzed.
Hallandale Beach is a town in Broward County Florida approximately half way between downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
The Legal Consequences of Police Brutality
An incident such as this is ideal for a lawyer filing a civil suit against the police department and the officers. There is clear video evidence of the misconduct and the incident has already received widespread local attention. In similar situations, a department would often want to settle the case out of court to put an end to the negative publicity and scrutiny on the department’s practices. Yet there are also less obvious incidents of police misconduct which go unreported and can have serious consequences for the average person such as false arrests, improper medical treatment, planted evidence, and failure to render help.
While the department from this news article had suspended the officers without pay, their ultimate fate is usually unknown to the public unless additional criminal charges are filed against them, which rarely happens. The internal affairs process that investigates police misconduct within most departments is often extremely lenient when dealing with misbehavior from its own staff. Because of the inadequacy of internal affairs and the fact that they do not offer compensation to individuals, the best route for victims of police brutality is to file a civil lawsuit.
A lawyer can collect evidence such as videos taken from the incident, statements from witnesses nearby, and public records internal to the department that show an officer’s disciplinary record and prior use of force incidents. In cases of severe injuries or reckless behavior by police officers, skilled lawyer may be able to obtain a large settlement or judgment against the department.
Get in Touch with an Expert Lawyer
A lawyer licensed to practice in Florida with experience in the Broward County court system is available to speak with you. If you or someone you know has been victimized by the local police, it is best to take action and receive compensation for your mistreatment.