Ft. Lauderdale Cop Suspended for Assaulting Protestor Was Reviewed by Internal Affairs for Use of Force 79 Times in 3.5 Years

Charles Rabin, reporting for The Miami Herald:

The Fort Lauderdale patrol officer who inflamed a tense demonstration on Sunday, knocking over a seated protester just before a peaceful protest against police abuse turned violent, has been reviewed by internal affairs for using force 79 times in his roughly three-and-half years on the force, according to department records.

Most notably, Steven Pohorence has drawn his firearm more than once a month on average since he was hired in October 2016, according to personnel records released by the law enforcement agency on Wednesday. […]

During some instances in which Pohorence drew his weapon, the records show, he was apprehending someone wanted for serious crimes such as a robbery, vehicle theft or an outstanding warrant. The records show the pattern of brandishing his firearm increasing with him drawing a weapon 42 times in the past 16 months. In January of this year, Pohorence drew on suspects four times in one week. But three of those instances turned out to be minor violations or misunderstandings.

That’s a review every 16 days, ever since he’s been in service. Sounds like a lot.

Shane Calvey, president of Fort Lauderdale’s Fraternal Order of Police said he couldn’t speak about Pohorence’s actions on Sunday while it was under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. But he also defended the officer’s record, saying there was nothing out of the ordinary regarding the number of times Pohorence had been reviewed for use-of-force or had drawn his weapon.

“There were no policy violations found,” Calvey said.

Nothing out of the ordinary about a cop who drew his gun 42 times in 16 months. Either he’s lying to make an excuse for a cop who clearly never should have been in uniform in the first place, which is awful, or he’s telling the truth — that this is normal — which is far worse.

Friday, 5 June 2020