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Additional charges could be coming in federal Boynton Beach police beating case

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 14:50:05-04

Two of four Boynton Beach police officers, facing federal charges in the beating of a man back in 2014, could face more charges.

In a document filed in federal court this week, the US Attorney's Office says it plans to call a grand jury to look at filing additional charges in the case. 

According to prosecutors, this "superseding indictment," would charge one of the officers, who was not named, with two additional felony counts, and another, unnamed officer with one additional felony count. 

The US Attorney's Office also mentioned a possible plea on Justin Harris' behalf. 

Officer Michael Brown, Sergeant Philip Antico, former officers Justin Harris and Ronald Ryan were charged earlier this year, for their roles in the arrest of Byron Harris who led police on a chase on August 20, 2014.

According to records, Harris, who had two passengers in the car, refused to stop and at some point allegedly hit and injured a police officer.

Police followed Harris to Lake Worth, where the chase ended and Harris and his two passengers, Ashley Hill and Jeffrey Braswell were taken into custody.

Parts of the chase and the subsequent arrest were captured on Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter video. The video shows officers striking, kicking and using a Taser on Braswell.

The indictment accuses Officers Brown, Harris and Ryan of kicking, striking and electro-shocking passenger Jeffrey Braswell with a taser.

For that they were charged with deprivation of civil rights under color of law, a charge that carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,00 fine.

In addition, they face charges of falsification of records, for making false statements in their reports, a charge that carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

Sergeant Philip Antico, who was not on the scene during the traffic stop, is facing charges of falsifying records and obstruction of justice.

Prosecuting attorneys say Antico was the supervisory sergeant and he allowed the officers to make changes to their reports after reviewing the video of the incident.

The changes to the report were allegedly allowed as to make the officers’ actions justifiable.

In addition to Sergeant Antico’s alleged role in falsifying the reports he was charged with one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to FBI officials about the changes that had been made to the reports.

Obstruction of justice carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Attorneys for the officers will be in federal court on Monday to discuss further details about the case. A trial, originally scheduled for September, has been postponed.