A police sergeant in Florida has been placed on desk duty after video showed him assaulting a fellow officer who was trying to de-escalate a Black man's arrest.
The body cam video shows Sunrise police Sgt. Christopher Pullease threatening the suspect with pepper spray, and engaging in a verbal altercation with him, after he'd already been taken into custody and placed in the back of a patrol car.
After a 28-year-old female officer grabs Pullease by the back of his belt and tries to pull him away, he turns around and briefly puts his hand around her throat, before grabbing her by the vest and pushing her against another patrol car.
Pullease then returns to the patrol car where the suspect is detained, opening and closing the door, before pointing his finger at the female officer and walking away.
The 46-year-old Pullease, a 21-year veteran of the force, was assigned to desk duty on Nov. 25 after the department launched an internal affairs investigation of the incident.
In an interview with Miami's Channel 7, Sunrise Police Chief Anthony Rosa said Pullease's behavior was "disgusting," adding that "the video speaks for itself.”
Calling Pullease's actions toward the suspect "inappropriate and unprofessional," Rosa commended the female officer, who has been on the force for only two-and-a-half years, for her efforts to de-escalate.
“I’m very proud of this police officer," Rosa said. "She took some definitive action. I can only imagine what she must be feeling. She’s a newer officer, and he’s a very senior sergeant.”
The department muted the audio and blurred the faces of those shown in the video with the exception of Pullease. The officer he assaulted has not been identified.
Asked why Pullease isn't facing criminal charges, Rosa said: “So there’s some details of the investigation that I’ve not disclosed, that I’m unable to disclose right now, and if any of the information that comes up during the investigation rises to a level of criminal behavior or criminal conduct, then we’ll address it appropriately.”
Pullease had been cleared of two previous allegations of excessive force, according to Channel 7.
Vice News notes that most police departments "have a policy that requires officers to intervene if a fellow cop is taking things too far with someone they’re interacting with."
"But the institution is often criticized for not following through," the site reported. "As George Floyd was being murdered, for example, none of the three officers present chose to physically stop officer Derek Chauvin from kneeling on the Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes. This failure to act is the subject of both a federal and state criminal trial scheduled to begin later this year."
Watch the video below.