MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New developments Tuesday night in the case of a man who says he was roughed up by a Miami Beach police officer three years ago after trying to help someone else.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke exclusively with Andrew Mossberg and the assistant city attorney.
Mossberg was cut and bruised after he says the officer assaulted him. He’s upset about it and feels the $100,000 settlement shows that Officer Philippe Archer went too far.
But the city attorney said there is a lot to this case and there are reasons for this settlement.
“I’m horrified that police officers anywhere in this country would do something like this,” Mossberg said. “And what he did went beyond the boundaries of decency.”
The 53-year-old said he is relieved the city of Miami Beach agreed to a $100,000 settlement after he says he was attacked by Officer Archer.
“It brings focus to this, and I hope the commissioners will step up and do something about this sort of stuff,” he said.
A photo given to CBS4 by Mossberg’s attorneys shows Archer with his arm around Mossberg, whose face was bandaged after the incident.
Mossberg was actually arrested for interfering with an arrest.
He said it was June of 2013 when he witnessed Archer manhandling a woman and rifling through her purse.
Mossberg did not know Archer was working undercover, investigating a disturbance.
Mossberg said he called 911 and screamed at Archer to stop. He said that’s when Archer kicked him in the head twice, punched him and threw him up against an SUV, causing these injuries.
“Eyewitnesses saw what was happening and he threw me up against a car causing a dent in the vehicle,” Mossberg said.
Assistant City Attorney Rob Rosenwald denied Mossberg’s claims.
“These are outright lies. This case was litigated and the investigation shows that Mr. Mossberg tried to interfere with the officer eventuating an arrest, and interfered with the officer who was trying to make an arrest and he used racial slurs,” Rosenwald said. “Most important he took his walkie-talkie and that was the only way for him to get assistance and stay out of danger.”
Responding to that statement, Mossberg told CBS4 that he never tried to restrain Archer and that he never used “racial slurs.” He said Archer told the FBI and internal affairs that Mossberg did not try to restrain the officer and did not use racial slurs.
The state attorney dismissed charges against Mossberg.
Archer though was cleared of using excessive force against Mossberg, but was suspended for his treatment of the woman.
So why did the city settle with Mossberg for $100,000?
“There was a lot of publicity and there were problems with what happened to the female in this case and we made a determination that it was better to put this case behind us and pay this amount but we stand behind the officer,” Rosenwald said.
Mossberg doesn’t think the settlement is enough.
“I had hope they would step up and do something about this bad employee and fire him,” he said.
The city attorney said the FBI, state attorney’s office and internal affairs found archer was “100 percent justified” in his actions.
Bobby Jenkins, the president of the Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police, said Archer has done an outstanding job as a member of the crime suppression team and gang unit, dealing with dangerous criminals.
“For over 20 years, Detective Phil Archer has done an outstanding job of serving the community of Miami Beach as a member of our elite crime suppression team and gang unit.,” said Jenkins in a statement. “This job entails dealing with some of the city’s most dangerous and violent criminals including murderers, rapists, drug dealers, terrorists and burglars, among others.”
Jenkins added, “As such, officers who work this detail are much more likely to fond themselves in precarious situations that can lead to alter actions with the subjects who they encounter. As always, all incidents are investigated thoroughly and we are proud to say that Detective Archer has never done anything less than exceptional work for the department and we stand by him 100 per cent as a member of our force.”
The assistant city manager said Archer has made more than 1,000 arrests in his 20 year career and has had just 10 claims of wrong doing against him.
Mossberg said the settlement of $100,000 may seem like a lot, but there were attorney fees and he had to spend $30,000 on his criminal case clearing his name after his original criminal charges.