Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

FLPD Police Beating Caught on Video

Another camera, another secret video, and another exoneration.
Sadly, yet another incidence of police brutality was exposed today, and it appears to have occurred in an elevator with a bunch of college students and about three or four unidentified Fort Lauderdale cops.

The felony charges against the young man accused of Battery LEO have been dropped by an ASA Supervisor, Lee Cohen, and the Sun Sentinel captures the story in today's online reporting.

and as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story by Tanya Alanez:

Contradicting the police report, elevator surveillance video shows three officers aggressively rushing and beating Joshua Daniel Ortiz, of Sunrise, and taking him to the ground. Ortiz suffered a broken nose and was arrested and charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer.

The saddest thing about episodes such as these are that young defendants face mandatory adjudications of guilt upon a plea, and prosecutors often ask for jail time.

In your heart, you say to yourself that if everyone so charged ever had a video of the alleged incident at their disposal to display to a jury regarding the arrest, over half would get their cases dismissed.

In your head, though, you say a jury might convict, a judge might put your client away, and prudence rather than your passion requires you to cop to a plea which turns your stomach and you would prefer not to take. Your gut wrenches, but your client is the one who goes away if you lose the case, so against your will and against your better instincts you settle for a compromise you do not want to make. You go home with a bad taste in your mouth and sell out in your brain and you head to a bar, have a crown and coke, and say 'maybe next time.'

Well, today, for this one lawyer, Stephen Melnick, today was next time. Congratulations. Those days do not come about as often as you would like.


  1. I sent this video to everyone that was involved with a case my family and I recently suffered through. Although My Brother in law and I were found not guilty, out of fear, our other family members took plea bargains. We wish there was video footage, our lives have been forever changed and we lost jobs, houses, and a lot of money because of it. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do.
    Thank You Raisman & Raisman in Ft. Laud. for proving our innocence.

  2. I got text messages from the people I sent the video to, my wife and my sister cried. There were 3 calls made to 911 that night, all on our behalf. I meant to write that in the first post...