The Sunrise Police Department in Florida is probing a sergeant who allegedly gripped a fellow officer by her throat and pushed her against a police car after she stopped him from harming a suspect, officials said.
Officials from the police department released the body camera footage of the incident from November last year when Sergeant Christopher Pullease responded to an emergency call about a man allegedly causing violence and attacking people outside a convenience store.
The video shows Mr Pullease walking towards the car in which officers were trying to get the suspect inside as he resisted.
On reaching the spot, Mr Pullease is seen approaching the patrol car ahead of all the officers present and standing over the suspect with a pepper spray in his hand.
The sergeant engaged in a “verbal altercation,” said Sunrise police chief Anthony Rosa in a statement, reported WSVN 7 news channel.
He turned aggressive as the police were arresting a verbally and physically resistive suspect.
On seeing this, a 28-year-old female officer also from the police unit rushed to pull the sergeant away from the spot. She held the officer by his belt and pulled him away in a bid to deescalate the situation.
Within seconds, Mr Pullease is seen turning around and grabbing the young officer by her throat with one hand, while holding the pepper spray with another. He then went on to push her against a police vehicle before walking back to the suspect.
Police chief Rosa said the young officer did the right thing by stopping her senior.
“So I’m very proud of this police officer. She took some definitive action. I can only imagine what she must be feeling. She’s a newer officer, and he’s a very senior sergeant,” he told WSVN 7 News.
Officials have removed the audio of the incident from the video.
This is not the first time Mr Pullease has been accused of excessive force. He has had two allegations against him nearly 20 years ago and was cleared on both charges.
The sergeant has now been sent to desk duty amid the ongoing investigation, the report added.
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