Boynton Beach Officers Convicted of Using Excessive Force Against Arrestee and Obstruction of Justice
A federal jury on Friday convicted Boynton Beach Police Sergeant Philip Antico for obstruction of justice during a federal investigation into the excessive use of force by officers after an August 2014 traffic stop, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg of the Southern District of Florida and Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Last week a federal jury convicted Officer Michael Brown of using excessive force and using a firearm during a crime of violence for repeatedly striking an arrestee multiple times while holding his firearm after that traffic stop.
Evidence presented at both trials established that after Brown used excessive force, he wrote a report omitting that he had kicked the arrestee and struck the arrestee while holding a gun in his hand. At trial, the government presented evidence that Brown’s report changed significantly over the course of a week. In February 2015, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation began a criminal investigation into the officers’ use of force, Antico, Brown’s supervisor, misled a federal agent who was conducting the investigation. Specifically, Antico falsely claimed that Brown’s report of the arrest and his use of force never changed, when in fact Antico approved the report knowing that Brown had made material changes to his report about his use of force after a video recording of the arrest came to light.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice and the FBI stand committed to holding those who betray the public trust accountable for their actions, while supporting the men and women who proudly uphold their duties to serve and protect the community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Greenberg.
“Police officers must abide by the laws they enforce and protect the constitutional rights of all persons,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gore. “The department will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s laws that ensure the civil rights of all persons are protected.”
Brown faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment for the civil rights violation and 5 years imprisonment for his use of a firearm in the commission of that crime. Antico faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment. Sentencing will be set at a later date before U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida.
The case was investigated by the West Palm Beach Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Osborne of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.