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'Go dead:' 2 Riviera Beach police officers fired for body camera violations after suspect ends up beaten

Firings latest blow to Riviera Beach Police Department, where chief under investigation in unrelated incident
Riviera Beach police officers fired after Anthony Goldwire arrest
Posted at 3:22 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 10:40:49-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — On a late summer's night, Anthony Goldwire was pulled over for running a stop sign by Riviera Beach police.

But what started as a simple traffic stop in the Monroe Heights neighborhood turned quickly into a manhunt.

Contact 5 obtained the internal affairs investigation, the June 21, 2019, body camera footage and the dashboard camera video.

Anthony Goldwire body camera video after his 2019 arrest by Riviera Beach police
A still image from Riviera Beach police body camera video obtained by Contact 5 shows Anthony Goldwire after his arrest.

They show Goldwire fleeing the traffic stop in his Lincoln Zephr, clipping a police cruiser. He then abandons his car and runs through streets and backyards trying to escape.

When numerous officers — and one police dog — caught up to Goldwire on a house porch, body cameras show him putting his hands in the air before lying prone on his stomach, surrendering. Then an order is heard to "go dead."

The next time Goldwire is shown on body cameras, he is clearly beaten. He is slumping on the side of the road, barely able to walk to the patrol car.

"You are man enough to hit a cop, you are man enough to walk to this car," an officer is heard saying as Goldwire is dragged to a police car.

A hospital photo later shows him with a bloody contusion between his eyebrows. His lips are bloody, his eyes appear swollen and his face is covered with dirt.

Anthony Goldwire after being beaten by Riviera Beach police
This hospital photo, provided by Riviera Beach police, shows Anthony Goldwire after his arrest on June 21, 2019. Two officers were fired after body cameras were turned off shortly before Goldwire was beaten.

Two veteran officers were fired for violations of the Riviera Beach Police Department's body cam policy. The Police Benevolent Association, representing the officers, called their dismissals unwarranted, noting body cameras are a relatively new technology for police. The union president also said the "go dead" order referred to the canine unit only.

Capt. Edgar Foster, fired Sept. 7, gave the "go dead" order, according to an internal affairs investigation obtained by Contact 5.

Three officers at the scene of the arrest told an IA investigator they turned off their body cameras because of Foster's command.

Capt. Edgar Foster Violated Camera Policy

Sgt. Brian Jackson was the officer who initially pulled over Goldwire. His hand was injured when Goldwire hit the patrol car when he initially fled in the Lincoln.

Jackson was fired Aug. 13 for failing to wear his body camera at all. He also told IA investigators that he punched Goldwire twice, believing he was reaching for a weapon. It turned out Goldwire was reaching for his cellphone.

"We are tactically trained to handle situations like this profoundly differently," Riviera Beach City Manager wrote in a March 2020 memo on Jackson's actions.

The IA investigation found other officers also didn't have their body cameras on when Goldwire was struck by Jackson. One told investigators he turned his camera off on his own accord, another said he forgot to turn it on and another said it fell off during the pursuit of Goldwire.

Goldwire didn't return phone messages for comment, but his grandmother, Allison Scarlett, said he is living in Miami, afraid to come back to Riviera Beach.

Allison Scarlett, Anthony Goldwire's grandmother
Allison Scarlett says her grandson, Anthony Goldwire, says her grandson doesn't come around much anymore since the arrest.

"It broke my heart. It put tears in my eyes, the way they did him — his eyes (were) all closed up and his face was all beat up — it just broke my heart," Scarlett said. "They didn't have to do that."

She said the beating changed her grandson.

"He used to call me for everything," Scarlett said. "I don't know if this has pushed him further out there. Because I don't see him. He normally comes home every night."

Jackson had been with the force since 2005. Foster was hired the following year.

Foster, initially, was recommended only to be demoted by a previous interim chief, but that decision changed under current Chief Nathan Osgood.

Goldwire pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to one count of resisting arrest without violence and two counts of driving on a suspended license. He received a sentence of 38 days — time he had already served in jail.

Anthony Goldwire on ground in Riviera Beach police body camera video
Shortly before the body camera videos turn off during the arrest of Anthony Goldwire, Capt. Edward Foster can be heard giving the "go dead" command.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg's public corruption unit looked at the Goldwire case and concluded there was a lack of evidence to determine any criminal wrongdoing by officers in the arrest of Goldwire.

"Sometimes the lack of evidence is the evidence you need to prove your case," attorney Stuart Kaplan, a former FBI agent and a use-of-force specialist, said. "This idea that, because of the lack of body camera footage or recording is the reason why the state attorney's office would even decline prosecution, I find that to be almost incredulous."

A spokesman for Aronberg said the office stands by its investigation.

Foster declined comment. Jackson did not return phone calls. But the PBA, representing the officers, said the dismissals were heavy-handed and noted Foster's "pristine disciplinary record."

"An investigation must be completed within 180 days and this took two years," union President John Kazanjian said. "There's no way this warranted termination. There's no way."

City spokeswoman Nicole Rodriguez said the investigation took so long because "all officers are afforded certain rights when accused of wrongdoing and these officers were afforded those rights."

Kazanjian said Foster's order to "go dead" was directed at the K-9 unit to stand down but didn't have an explanation why three officers followed the direction and turned off their body cameras.

John Kazanjian defends Riviera Beach police officers fired after Anthony Goldwire arrest
John Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, says the "go dead" order heard during the arrest of Anthony Goldwire had nothing to do with the cameras.

The firings add to the turmoil surrounding the Riviera Beach Police Department. Osgood is under investigation by an outside firm hired by the city after he ordered the un-arrest of Councilman Douglas Lawson during an Aug. 29 domestic battery investigation.

Osgood fired the officer who had initially arrested Lawson, but the city reinstated him pending the investigation.

The state attorney has found that the arrest of Lawson was valid but choose not to file a battery charge because the councilman's fiancé wouldn't cooperate with the investigation.

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