FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Three Fort Lauderdale police officers accused of lying to investigators about a car chase and crash have been cleared of all criminal charges.
Judge Cynthia Imperato acquitted all three officers in court Wednesday, just one day after the jury deadlocked on most of the charges.
“The state cherry picked the evidence,” said Sgt. Jack Lokeinsky, president of the Fort Lauderdale Fraternal Order of Police. “They did not include any evidence that shed a good light on the officers. The judge, I appreciate her efforts and she listened to the entire case and she realized that charges should never have been filed.”
On Tuesday, jurors acquitted Detectives Matthew Moceri and Geoffrey Shaffer on charges of official misconduct. However, the jury deadlocked on the charges of falsifying reports. The jury was also hung on all counts for Sgt. Michael Florenco.
But Wednesday, the judge acquitted all three.
The case dates back to 2009 when the officers responded to an incident at the Fort Lauderdale Hilton Marina.
Kenneth Post was caught on surveillance video stealing liquor from the Tiki Bar and then backing out of the parking lot and clipping security in a golf cart.
He fled and the three officers were involved in a pursuit.
During the chase, the front of their unmarked car was smashed.
They claimed that Post was responsible but a crash expert hired by the police department determined that the officers had wrecked the car elsewhere. Prosecutors claimed they lied to cover up the accident.
The mother of Kenneth Post who has fought tirelessly for him expressed dismay at what Judge Imperato did.
“I was flabberghasted, disappointed, I cried,” said Marian Post. “I just couldn’t believe she did not let a jury decide. It’s not fair. I have no trust in the court system anymore.”
With the judge’s decision, the union will immediately seek to have the officers reinstated to their jobs. They have been suspended without pay since their arrest late last May.