FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Three Ft. Lauderdale police officers were booked into the Broward County Jail Thursday on charges of criminal misconduct.
Sgt. Michael Florenco, detectives Matthew Moceri and Geoffrey Shaffer have been relieved of duty without pay, according to department spokesman Det. Travis Mandel. The three officers were part of an elite group of street cops called the Raiders. They each face charges of official misconduct, perjury and falsifying records.
Back in late 2009 they arrested Kenneth Post.
According to investigators Kenneth Post was seen on surveillance video stealing liquor from the Hilton marina. Once in the parking lot surveillance shows him crashing his car into a security golf cart that had blocked him in.
Afterwards Ft. Lauderdale police are seen arriving on scene and taking off to follow Post.
What happens next landed the three officers in trouble.
Post crashed his car in the Rio Vista neighborhood of Ft. Lauderdale.
According to investigators, the officers who pursued Post accused him of trying to run into their car. Post was charged with attempted murder of law enforcement officers.
However, an arrest affidavit for the accused officers reveals that an accident expert reviewed the evidence and determined the officers’ story was not true.
The report says “the damages to both vehicles could not have occurred as depicted in the charging documents, incident reports and provided sworn testimony.”
The affidavit also reveals that Post told investigators that “the officers rammed him from behind with their vehicle several times.”
The report indicates that Post also said “the officers struck him in the face unnecessarily as he attempted to surrender.”
Marian Post said she her son always told her a different story.
“They pulled him out of the passenger side of the car because the driver’s side was up against the wall. When he tried to get out, that’s when they bashed him in the head with a flashlight,” says Post’s mother Marian Post.
Marian Post says her son suffered a broken nose, broken cheekbone, a concussion. She says her son did ‘not’ resist arrest.
“He still has headaches everyday. He calls me up from the jail and says send me money mom, I have to buy aspirin for my headache,” Post told CBS 4 News Reporter Joan Murray.
Howard Greitzer represents Sergeant Michael Florenco. Greitzer said the officers plan to vigorously fight the charges.
“It’s completely outrageous,” Greitzer said. “We look forward to trying this case and be vindicated in an appropriate forum — which is a court of law.”
Greitzer said the officers did use force on Post and he said it was justified to protect the officers and the public.
“(Post is) lucky he wasn’t killed,” Greitzer said. “He’s lucky he wasn’t shot. His foot was on the accelerator. The officers at gunpoint directed him to get out of the car. He refused to get out of the car. “
But Marian Post called the arrests justice.
“The police are hired to protect the public and if they make a false statement and sign false statements that’s against what they are supposed to be doing.”
Prosecutors are still pursing burglary, aggravated assault and grand theft charges against Post but they have dropped the charges dealing with the chase and allegations that he tried to run down two officers with his mother’s car.
After three years Post’s mother says she may finally see justice for her son with the arrests of the three officers.
It’s really a shame because we pay taxes and we want to have good protection and we want the truth, nothing made up to cause people harm.”