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South Florida Sergeant Grabs Fellow Female Cop by the Throat for Stopping Him From Using Excessive Force Against a Handcuffed Suspect

by Jo Ellen Nott

Forty-six-year-old veteran Florida police officer Sergeant Christopher Pullease became unhinged and used inappropriate force on a fellow female cop when, following departmental policy, she tried to prevent him from escalating a situation with a young Black suspect on November 19, 2021. The suspect, 25-year-old Jean Similien, had been placed under arrest at a Shop and Save in Sunrise, Florida, accused of punching a man in the face several times. When Pullease arrived on the scene to help arresting officers put Similien in the back of a patrol vehicle, Pullease said something that made the situation worse and pulled out his pepper spray. It was at that moment that the female officer intervened and was grabbed by the throat by Pullease.

Pullease is seen on the video footage grabbing the unnamed female officer by the throat and slamming her against a patrol car after she attempted to stop him from using pepper spray on the handcuffed suspect. Police chief Anthony Rosa described the behavior of Pullease toward the suspect as “inappropriate and unprofessional” and that he “unnecessarily elevated the demeanor of the suspect.” The 21-year veteran of the department was placed on desk duty five days after the November incident as a probe of the incident began.

“This is a result of criminal allegations that have been uncovered due to the internal affairs investigation. The Sunrise Police Department is working in conjunction with the Broward State Attorney’s Office during this criminal investigation,” according to a statement from the department. 

Rosa stated after releasing the video of Pullease’s aggression towards the female officer that he found “[the] behavior to be disgusting. I think the video speaks for itself.” Rosa went on to defend the young woman by saying “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.”

Rosa is facing criticism from the police union on his handling of the incident. The union representing Sunrise police officers accuse Rosa of condemning Pullease in an interview, saying he is a juror who has already made up his mind. The Fraternal Order of Police wants Rosa to recuse himself from the investigation.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on January 18, 2022, that several experts on police matters among them a retired interim police chief, an expert witness on police cases, and the Broward Public Defender think that “charges of battery on a law enforcement officer should have happened by now.”

According to the Sun Sentinel, Chief Rosa would have the final say if Pullease is terminated, not the Sunrise city manager. Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan noted in a recent commission meeting that Rosa is being criticized by some for not acting quickly enough. “The eyes of the nation are watching us and we’re going to make sure that this is a fair and transparent investigation,” said Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan.

 Sources:  nypost.com, Miami.cbslocal.com, dailymail.co.uk, foxnews13.com, wsvn.com, miamiherald.com, local10.com

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