Russell Brinson, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy accused last year of roughing up a man who had called police for help, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case.
In May 2014, Augusto Garcia had called police to report two suspicious people milling around his car. Brinson responded and, believing Garcia was a suspect, grabbed his arm, twisted it behind his back and took him to the ground, records show. He put a knee in Garcia’s back while handcuffing the man.
Brinson said Garcia refused to obey commands to take his hands out of his pockets. Garcia said he never had a chance to explain before Brinson swept his legs out from under him. He had to be hospitalized for back pain.
The deputy, who had 18 uses of force, including a shooting, in one 20-month span, was cleared in December.
But the U.S. Department of Justice assumed the case was still open in May, when they decided not to launch a formal investigation in the case. The Palm Beach Post obtained records in the case this week.
Brinson has since been reassigned to the airport.