BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Former Boynton Beach Police Department officers Ronald Ryan and Justin Harris were found not guilty Thursday in the federal beating case of Jeremy Braswell, a passenger in a 2014 high-speed chase.
Officer Michael Brown was found guilty of excessive force and use of firearm during a violent act.
“I have mixed emotions,” Ryan said after the verdict. “Mike Brown is one of the best police officers I’ve ever worked for.”
Both Ryan and Harris cried after the verdict was read.
“Justin is relieved this is over and he is ready to...relieved obviously with the verdict and would like to get back to his life with his family and move forward,” said Harris’ lawyer, Jonathan Wasserman
The three were accused of trying it up cover up. Their initial report didn’t say they had beaten Jeffery Braswell. After they realized it was captured on a Palm Beach County sheriff’s helicopter camera, they changed their report, according to the FBI. They were acquitted on those charges.
“Because they didn’t falsify records with the intent to deceive anybody,” Wasserman said.
Their supervisor, Sgt. Phillip Antico, is also accused of trying to cover it up. His trial starts Monday. His lawyer gave our Alyssa Hyman no comment.
Brown was allowed to go home until his sentencing. His wife died recently and they have an 8-year-old, so the family needs to figure out who will take care of the child.
The jurors were tasked with deciding whether three Boynton Beach police used excessive force
when they punched, kicked, kneed and used a stun gun on a man who was a passenger in a car involved in a 2014 high-speed chase.
The whole thing was recorded by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.
Federal prosecutors claim once they realized the video existed, falsified their reports to cover it up.
Jurors deliberated for nearly six hours Wednesday and still have no verdict.
The officers’ defense attorneys argued prosecutors did not prove their case.
Meanwhile, jury selection began for Sgt. Philip Anitco, who prosecutors say allowed them to falsify the records.