During an arrest in 2012 officer Scott Patrick of the Sarasota Police Department savagely beat a man during an arrest.
Jason Dragash was drunk at a night club when Sarasota PD showed up. Dragash expressed his discontent for the officers at which point they tried to arrest him, according to the police report.
During the arrest Dragash was on the ground and surrounded by police officers when the beating began.
After the punches, Patrick applied a choke hold, stating he “was able to secure the defendant’s neck and placed the defendant into the Vascular Neck Restraint, gaining compliance.”
Choke holds like the one Patrick used can result in death if improperly applied, and are considered deadly force at most police agencies. Administratively, it is treated the same as a firearms discharge.
Dragash was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest. All charges were later dropped and Patrick was eventually fired for excessive force.
Now, 2 years later, Patrick has won his job back with the Sarasota PD after challenging his firing through the police union.
According to the Herald Tribune, an arbitrator appointed to the case decided that Patrick was “reasonable” in punching a nightclub patron in the face several times while arresting him on suspicion of disorderly conduct.
The decision held that the city was wrong to fire Patrick, who is to regain his position with back pay. He will be back on the job early next month, said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, and will most likely return to patrol duty. He will face no further penalties.
It must be nice to be found guilty of abusing your authority and fired, only to be given the same position of authority later on down the road. This case highlights the incredibly low level of accountability within the US ‘Justice’ system.