Trial for Fort Lauderdale Police officers begins
Updated On: Feb 06 2013 10:26:51 AM EST
The trial began Tuesday for three Fort Lauderdale Police officers charged with falsifying a police report and sworn testimony in connection with an officer-involved crash.
Sgt. Michael Florenco, Detective Matthew Moceri and Officer Geoffrey Shaffer each face four felony counts of official misconduct and four misdemeanor counts of falsifying public records.
The charges stem from an investigation initiated after Kenneth Post filed a complaint following his Nov. 22, 2009, arrest.
According to the arrest warrants, the three officers responded to a report of the thefts of some liquor bottles that morning at the Hilton Hotel on Southeast 17th Street and saw Post trying to run away. The officers followed him, and at some point, Post's vehicle and an unmarked police vehicle driven by Florenco collided.
Surveillance video shows Post stealing several liquor bottles from the hotel bar and three Fort Lauderdale officers arresting him.
Investigators said Moceri and Shaffer were also in the vehicle and helped Florenco arrest Post, who was charged with attempted homicide on a law enforcement officer, burglary, aggravated fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest with violence, aggravated assault and felony vandalism.
The Public Corruption Task Force alleged in its investigation that physical evidence and at least one witness' statement contradicted the officers' reports, probable cause affidavits and sworn testimony. Crime scene photos did not show any damage to the front of Post's white Cadillac nor to the side of the officer's unmarked police car. Witnesses told investigators that what they saw was not what the officers said happened.
The officers were part of the Northwest Raiders Street Unit. In November 2011, two other members of the unit were charged with kidnapping and shaking down drug suspects.
The three officers are currently on administrative leave without pay.
The judge also reprimanded the family of Post for talking to witnesses and posting flyers around the courthouse. Post still faces several charges related to the liquor theft.