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Fla. Cop Fired Over Traffic Stop

Pensacola (Fla.) Police Officer Christopher Geraci was fired by his chief for allegedly using excessive force on a hit-and-run suspect during this traffic stop. Read the full story here.

August 21, 2012

Comments (25)

Displaying 1 - 25 of 25

jc @ 8/21/2012 2:33 PM

Yes it was excessive

George @ 8/21/2012 6:10 PM

She was resisting and drunk. I didn't see excessive force at all. It's getting to the point as to where Police have to be shot before they can take action.

Bill @ 8/21/2012 6:19 PM

This guy has to be the dumbest cop in Florida. This gal is going to have a nice 6 or 7 figure law suit against the Pensacola PD, which this idiot should be forced to pay, not the taxpayers! Total egotistical moron. I pity his wife....If he has one.

Justice Pro @ 8/21/2012 6:22 PM

Hopefully FDLE will take his Certification, FL just doesn't need LEO like this officer. PPD has a lotof $$ invested in him but he needs to go!

Bruce G. @ 8/21/2012 6:41 PM

What a complete idiot. He deserves what he gets!

Donutplz @ 8/21/2012 7:27 PM

Your Assumptions are baseless. The video clearly shows a drunk woman who is clearly unsteady on her feet.

He turns her around to cuff her and she pulls or falls away, he turns her toward the car in a straight arm bar technique.

She being drunk stumbles and her head hit the fender instead of her body against the car to help in controlling a drunk uncooperative person.

Her legs buckled BEFORE she hit the car which is why her head hit the fender.

As far as the second attempt at placing her on the car, I dont see her head hitting it. I didnt even hear a clunk like the first time. Her legs buckle again but it appears the officer is pulling her away so she doesnt fall into the car again.

In this incident I dont see excessive force. If you dont want to get hurt, whether it be while resisting arrest or just driving drunk dont do either of them.

RLS @ 8/21/2012 7:38 PM

I agree with Donutplz, she is intoxicated and the officer used a simple technique we are all trained to use in the academy. If he doesn't use the arm bar then he is forced to become more physical with the suspect. I feel he is 100% in the right in this video! I think the officer is the one with a valid law suit.

Jim @ 8/22/2012 3:56 AM

It is unfortunate that a few will tarnish the badge. So many of us are in it for the right reason while others use it to bully. He easily outweighs her 2X and she wasn't resisting. Work around a college environment and realize that alot of these kids are just plain naive. She was still on the phone when he approached and wasn't even challenging him. Too bad the Psychological Exam can't catch everything. He needs to go - for good. She will win the suit. Hopefully no small town department will hire him for his "experience". Stay Safe - Wear Your Vest

DE @ 8/22/2012 7:15 AM

As bad as it looks, he did nothing intentionally wrong. If you do this long enough, you will have several "Oh S***" experiences where things just don't go the way you planned.

She is drunk, so she must be taken off the streets before she KILLS SOMEBODY. The arm bar control technique is taught by and practiced on sober people. He didn't foresee that her legs would fail her as she turned in response to his control technique. I guarantee you when her head hit the car he thought, "Oh S***!" but the show must go on - you still have to gain control over the suspect. When he "slammed her head" he was simply trying to put her against the car to stabilize her. He grabbed for what he could - if she'd had a coat on, he would have had her by the coat collar.

This is a sad convergience of unfortunate circumstances. With another arrestee, on another night, in a different place this officer would have had no problem with the technique or the level of force. I don't think he meant to do it, but sometimes you have to mean NOT to do things. Drunks demand special care due to their state of vulnerability to falling, etc.

This is the liability we all face when we choose not to sit behind a desk or goof off in our cruiser all shift. You're gonna get into some crap if you do your job. Just learn from your mistakes and those of others.

Maybe a chief somewhere will recognize these facts and give him a second chance. I bet he uses much more care when he arrests drunk females again.

Bill K @ 8/22/2012 7:37 AM

Donutzpiz and DE are spot on in their assessments of this unfortunate incident. The rest of you self-rightous, judgmental officers (?) ought to be ashamed of yourselves for your knee-jerk reactions. Watch the video and listen again; and this time pay attention! There was no display of anger by the officer. An arm-bar with a stunning technique was reasonable force. Unfortunately, the arrestee's head struck the vehicle during the "wall stun." The officer didn't intentionally direct her head into the vehicle.

MGC @ 8/22/2012 7:55 AM

After watching several times I have to agree, the officer was not mad or even upset. He was doing his job and controlled the suspect as best as he could. He cannot control all aspects of a stop. Just most.

AJ @ 8/22/2012 8:57 AM

I hear no malice in his voice. It looks to me like a floppy, drunk, suspect resisting the handcuffing process AFTER being told that he is under arrest. It's unfortunate that she may have hit her head but that was an unfortunate consiquence of HER actions. Had she not resisted, the officer would not hav had to gain control of her. Had SHE not been drunk of her @$$ and wearking hooker heels she wouldn't have stumble when secured agains ther car.

As far as the reporter say he then grabbed her head and slammed it into her car? That's B.S., he held her head up to keep it from hitting the car a second time while he tried to pin her up against the car to cuff her. Notice how the slow motion video stops while the reporter is narrarating just before her head would contact the car that second time... because it does not.

Don't tell me everyone on here has never went to take controle of an arrestee and maybe caught them off guard or off balance and been surprised with the speed they hit the deck. Chief is a disgrace, even a dumb detective like me can see what really happened here.

JM @ 8/22/2012 10:24 AM

Wow, what video are you guys watching that you are defending this officer??? I've been a cop for 26 years (just a regular street pounder, not admin) and I don’t know how the hell anyone can say this was a justified and appropriate use of force. Yes she is drunk and wearing heels, but all he had to do was slap the cuffs on her right where she stood, period. An arm bar and body slam was not needed. She never pulled away or even flinched like she was going to attack him, she was just plain passive. And it sure doesn’t make one bit of difference that that the officer was calm, etc., while he was doing it. He was mad alright, mad that she wasn’t listening and was on the phone…

If that was my daughter or loved one (and I’m guessing those of you that think this is acceptable conduct don’t have one) I would be pissed. Both at them for driving that drunk (and they certainly deserved an arrest) but way more so at the lack of professionalism displayed by the officer. This is the kind of crap that gives us all a bad rap with the public. Subsequently we are all then painted with that same brush and hated, thanks to idiots like this guy.

Lee @ 8/22/2012 10:50 AM

@donutplz, de, bill k, and aj. I agree completely...somtimes things happen that we cannot control, her stumbling and falling makes it look like a rough time. It was not...He should get his badge back.

Rob @ 8/22/2012 10:52 AM

I don't see the excessive force.

Ben @ 8/22/2012 11:30 AM

The only idiots in this video are the newscaster and the police chief. Anyone calling excessive should consider finding a gentile politically correct job. I hope none of you work in any type of administrative positions or police agencies will continued to be sued. Accidents happen, her knees clearly buckle when being moved into.the car....but let's try this...if she would have listened and got back in the car or listened to anything he said situation over.

@JM.. Did you watch the correct video? I saw her refuse multiple commands and pull away. Might be time to retire to the political correct police where your feelings won't be as hurt.

NewtonDog @ 8/22/2012 7:23 PM

Defiant from the very beginning, she clearly assisted herself in getting face slammed into the car.

Andy @ 8/23/2012 2:58 PM

The officer didn't display any malice, or contempt for the offender, and was simply trying to gain control using an approved technique. Its too easy to be Monday morning quarterbacking around here! This Officer maintained a professional attitude throughout. Good luck, and God speed.

reqcde3 @ 8/23/2012 9:04 PM

Its amazing how we can all see the same video and come up with different evaluations of the situation. I have to agree that her knees buckled just at the right time as he was trying to gain control of her. Its too bad the department has fired this officer and is not supporting him. This opens up liability for everyone, when the officers actions are within reason. The officer knows he is on video and even acknowledges the fact, so why would he use excessive force. The facts are he didn't. I hope he gets his job back...

halderon @ 8/24/2012 2:22 AM

The officer remembered that the camera was rolling, and he started to cover himself. If you seriously can't see an over reaction on his part, perhaps it would help if you could see yourself reacting in the same way. An arm bar to slam her against the car was not necessary. That is the point. It was not necessary-that's what makes it wrong!

Bill K @ 8/24/2012 8:03 AM

Halderon, your remark about the officer (suddenly) remembering the camera was rolling and therefore, "he started to cover himself," is nothing more than speculative. Stick to the facts and the legal guidelines of Graham v. Connor. This officer's use of force was "objectively reasonable," regardless if you believe it was "not necessary."

Also, keep in mind that an officer need not use the "least intrusive" level of force to gain control! I know some officers on my PD are quick with a taser, when I prefer to use empty hands. Both techniques would fall within department guidelines and case law regarding the use of force.

JM, the female arrestee was NOT passive. In my state, she would be described as an "Active Resister." She disobeyed clear, concise verbal commands and physically attempted to turn away to avoid being handcuffed. No matter how petit or intoxicated she may be, she still actively resisted the arrest.

For the record, I am a loving father of two wonderful adult daughters. If this young lady was one of my girl's, I would provide her with nothing more than an ice pack and some words of wisdom.

RLS @ 8/24/2012 12:26 PM

It would appear to me that most of you have had a similar experience, and so have I. So I guess I would say without being cruel to anyone opinions I have had only a couple of encounters that went hands on. The one that reminds me the most of this officers situation goes like this: I had just hand cuffed a combative male about my size when he reaches to his pockets as I am trying to search him, when counter I find a pocket knife in the same pocket the suspect just got his hand to. As I grab the knife he pushes back forcing me back, I tosses the knife and spun him around to the ground. I never let go of him holding him at his left arm, yet he hit his head on the pavement. And yes it was an o S**T moment. So for all of us not there the video will never do the officer justice, he done his job as we all do and very few of us come to work to abuse people and I don't believe this officer did.

teddy smith @ 8/25/2012 5:29 AM

He deserves to be fired. He makes it hard for police everywhere. His actions are not justified. I'm an officer, and to think he even tried to justify what he did (while on video) is ridiculous. The girl didn't do anything to be treated like that. He's probably a decent officer who made a mistake that will cost him his career.

Percy @ 9/2/2012 3:27 AM

PISS ON HIM FUCKING ASS @ 10/2/2012 11:24 AM

He deserves the firing

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