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Police beating investigation nears end

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  • | 4:00 a.m. October 15, 2009
  • Sarasota
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The internal affairs report concerning the officer videotaped kicking a handcuffed suspect in June and the subsequent actions afterward will be delivered to City Hall within the next two weeks.

City Manager Bob Bartolotta detailed the process today on how the report will be released.

Officer Christopher Childers was caught on camera kicking Juan Perez twice at the jail’s booking facility. After the incident, Police Chief Peter Abbott approved a $400 payment through the city’s risk-management department to Perez in exchange for waiving the right to sue the city. Both Childers and Abbott have been on paid administrative leave since.

The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation, and it will issue three separate reports: one on the actions of police officers at the booking facility; one on the actions of Sgt. Ken Castro, who delivered the $400 to Perez and Capt. Paul Sutton, who told Castro to take a risk-management worker with him so he could pay Perez; and one on Abbott.

After it submits its reports, which is expected to be more than paper, the city will take a week to 10 days to review the findings; another week to allow the employees to give input on the findings; and up to four days to review that input.

The city will then hold disciplinary hearings if that is warranted. The police officials could be reprimanded, suspended or fired.

After that process, the city will release the reports to the public.

All of the police-department employees have the right to appeal any disciplinary action. That appeal process could take months. The disciplinary action would still take effect immediately, but would be reversed if they win their appeals.

Last month, the state attorney’s office decided not to file criminal battery charges against Childers, because it said there was no evidence Childers tried to intentionally hurt Perez.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].


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