TAMPA (CBSMiami/AP) – A Clearwater police officer was fired for slamming a 13-year-old boy to the ground.
An internal review found Officer Michael Leonardo, 33, used excessive force on the teen who had been involved in a fight at a youth shelter.
Clearwater police Chief Dan Slaughter told reporters that Leonardo made mistakes that “cannot be overlooked” when he responded to the call on April 2nd.
Surveillance video shows Leonardo grab the teen across the chest and slam him face-first onto a sidewalk outside the shelter. The boy chipped a tooth and had scratches on his face.
Leonardo told investigators he thought the boy was trying to escape. The boy said he tripped on his shoe, which could have come across as resisting the officer.
Two backup officers were given training and counseling for conduct after the takedown.