FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Fort Lauderdale police officer caught on camera shoving kneeling a protester is now facing a criminal charge.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office has charged Officer Steven Pohorence with one count of misdemeanor battery.
Video taken last month of Pohorence went viral. Captured during a protest over police brutality, the officer is seen pushing 19-year-old Jada Servance to the ground as he walked away.
The officer was put on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated.
On Tuesday, the Broward State Attorney’s Office announced the charge, saying:
“The decision to file a misdemeanor charge was made after reviewing the victim’s medical records to see if her injury fell under the legal requirements for a misdemeanor or felony charge.”
Pohorence’s attorney spoke with CBS4’s David Sutta by phone, saying his client will plead not guilty and that the public should not be quick to judge.
“The video is just a small snippet of all of the challenging circumstances and hostilities that an officer may have been encountering and dealing with at the time,” said Michael Dutko. “There was a frightening call for service and backup that happened minutes before the events that was depicted on the video and that event and what was at issue there will largely drive the narrative from the defense perspective.”
Pohorence is also the subject of two other incidents caught on video.
A video from September shows Pohorence’s knee directly over the neck of a man.
And then in a video captured in April, Pohorence is seen slamming his knee over another man’s neck.
Both very similar to tactics seen in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione released the videos last following a review of incidents involving Pohorence.
With this formal charge, Maglione issued a statement Tuesday he will change the Pohorence’s status to administrative leave without pay.
— Fort Lauderdale PD (@FLPD411) June 30, 2020
If convicted, Pohorence faces up to a year in prison.