An Orlando police officer has been fired after cell phone footage emerged of him punching and kicking a handcuffed man.
Officer William Escobar had been facing two counts of battery and two counts of perjury related to the March 2014 arrest of Refus Holloway, a former military police officer.
Police Chief John Mina announced the decision to fire Escobar on Wednesday and he said the officer had violated Orlando Police Department procedures including the use of force and treatment of prisoners.
The entire Orlando Police Department is now being investigated along with Orlando Police Officer, William Escobar, after it was determined that they purposely withheld evidence from the State Attorney’s Office relevant to the assault by Officer Escobar.
The body cam video from Officer Escobar clearly showed him beating a military police officer who was in handcuffs and on the ground throughout the entire ordeal: unable to resist. To top things off, the handcuffing and arrest itself was illegal.
During the beating, the Escobar can be heard yelling: “I am a cop, you understand you stupid motherf**ker.”
All of this occurred back in March, when officers responded to a disturbance call. The police claimed that they could “smell marijuana” in the air when they arrived.
One of the responding officers, Officer Williams said, “I am familiar with the odor of cannabis due to my training and experience in street level drugs.”
But an investigation determined there was never any marijuana at the scene.
Officer Williams also claimed to have seen the silhouette of a handgun in the pocket of one of the suspects, Verrell Sheals. There was no handgun.
While officers illegally arrested Sheals, Refus Jerome Holloway – another at the scene – “charged” allegedly with his hands in his pockets.
But in actuality Holloway was reaching for and then holding up his military ID, to let the officers know that he was a military police officer.
All witnesses at the scene have said that Holloway had his hands up and was trying to show his ID to the police officers, so that he could ask why his cousin, Sheals was being arrested.
Officer Williams then drew his gun and aimed it at Holloway, following with a front kick to the military cop’s abdomen. But Holloway caught the slow kick and immediately released it once he saw that the officer was losing his balance.
Officer Williams sprayed and entire canister of tear gas spray in Holloway’s face, along with another innocent bystander who had nothing to do with any of these events.
Once on the ground, Officer Escobar handcuffed Holloway and began punching and kicking him in the back of the head, yelling: “I am a cop, you understand you stupid mother f**ker.”
The video records Holloway pleading: “I didn’t touch you, I didn’t touch you.”
Watch the video below:
The State Attorney drop all charges against Holloway once this video surfaced, as it contradicted everything in the official police story. But when prosecutors saw the body cam video, they realized that Escobar had written a sworn testimony that there was no body cam video.
Officer Escobar has been investigated a full eight times for similar actions. While the State Attorney’s office says that their investigation into the officer is ongoing, Escobar has been cleared each of the eight times he was investigated in the past.
(Article by M. David)