The American Civil Liberties Union is requesting the city hand over all e-mail communications concerning a Sarasota police officer’s beating of a handcuffed suspect.
Specifically, the ACLU is looking for communications from suspended Police Chief Peter Abbott; Sgt. Ken Castro; City Manager Bob Bartolotta; and Larry Hobbs, a city risk-management employee.
City Auditor and Clerk Billy Robinson estimated there were about 2,600 e-mails in question.
Michael Barfield, vice president of the ACLU’s Sarasota chapter, said he is looking for “transparency in the investigative process and the events that occurred.”
He would not say whether the ACLU was considering a lawsuit against the city on behalf of Juan Perez.
Perez was arrested June 26 for disorderly intoxication and obstruction. Surveillance video at the booking facility shows Perez climbing out of a police-car window and falling to the ground. Officer Christopher Childers then placed his foot on Perez’s chest.
When Perez tried to get up, Childers kicked him twice in the chest, and Perez fell to the ground.
Written reports from Childers and another officer did not mention the kicks. And when a jail employee told the police department’s shift commander, Lt. Ken Rainey, about the incident, Rainey waited a week to tell his superiors.
Castro was assigned to investigate the case. But Abbott also instructed Castro to get a check from Hobbs to offer to Perez in exchange for an agreement not to sue the city. Castro personally delivered the $400 check.
Bartolotta said he was not informed of the videotaped incident or the payoff and subsequently suspended Abbott while an independent investigation is conducted.
Childers was also suspended. Rainey and Hobbs were reprimanded.
Contact Robin Roy at email@example.com.
Currently 0 Responses
21 Live It Up! with Parkinsons
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
21 Humanity Working to End Genocide meeting
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
21 Cat Depot: Volunteer Orientation and Cat Socialization Level 1 Training
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
22 Voice Aerobics with Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Trevor Kunk is the chef de cuisine at Blue Hill in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which the James Beard Foundation just named "most outstanding restaurant."
Sarasota native and resident Bri Oliva made her TV debut May 7, on the "Rachael Ray Show." Oliva was selected to participate in a segment called "Hidden Dangers on the Playground."
Key to the city
More than 100 community members and leaders, friends and family surprised Paul Thorpe, one of the founding members of the Downtown Association of Sarasota, April 25, at The Gator Club, to show their appreciation and celebrate the strides he’s made for Sarasota over the past four decades.