Sunrise, FL — Imagine for a moment that you worked at a company and one of your fellow employees strangled you. Then imagine that instead of that employee getting fired, he’s just moved to a different desk and still gets paid. This scenario is hard to imagine as it would never fly in a free market. However, if you’re a cop, the market is not free, and escaping accountability is the norm.
Veteran Sunrise police sergeant Christopher Pullease was the employee who strangled his coworker, and he was not fired. Instead, he has been on desk duty for two months after he was captured on video strangling a female officer. Highlighting the lack of concern over his actions, Pullease remained on regular duty a week after strangling her.
The incident unfolded in November but he’s faced no “consequences” until this week — a slap on the wrist. Despite disturbing video showing him strangling a female officer, Pullease wasn’t fired or even suspended without pay, instead, after being on desk duty for two months, he is now on paid vacation.
Only after the video was released publicly did a criminal investigation ensue — months later. Had it not been released, we may never have known about it and Pullease could still be on regular duty. What’s more, had a regular citizen grabbed a cop by the neck and thrown her against a police cruiser, they would most assuredly not remain free for months after the attack. They would have been beaten, arrested, and probably even killed. But Pullease simply moved to a desk.
“This (paid suspension) is a result of criminal allegations that have been uncovered due to the internal affairs investigation. The Sunrise Police Department is working in conjunction with the Broward State Attorney’s Office during this criminal investigation,” the department said in a statement this week.
As we reported, the incident unfolded on November 19, 2021 as Sunrise police were arresting a man at a local convenience store for allegedly assaulting people outside. When the video begins, the man is in handcuffs and being loaded into the police cruiser. Though he was putting up some resistance at first, eventually the man sat down and got inside.
The suspect’s compliance was of no concern to Pullease, however, who pulled up to the scene after the suspect was in the back of the squad car. For no apparent reason, Pullease began threatening the suspect with a can of pepper spray.
“I find it to be inappropriate and unprofessional, because what he did is he escalated the situation when calm was actually required,” Chief Anthony Rosa told 7 News Miami, describing Pullease’s actions that day as “disgusting.” Not disgusting enough to fire him though.
Luckily for the suspect, there was a good cop on the scene who was unafraid of stepping in to stop this bad cop in his tracks. As Pullease threatened the handcuffed man, priming the taxpayers of Sunrise for a lawsuit which they would be forced to fund, a brave female officer came from behind the raging cop and intervened.
As the video shows, the female officer grabbed Pullease by his duty belt and dragged him away before he could inflict anymore damage. The suspect had been saved, but the angry sergeant then turned his rage on the hero cop.
Pullease is then seen in the video grabbing the female officer by her neck, essentially strangling her as he shoved her backward. He then slams her up against the patrol car before turning his rage back on the handcuffed man.
Despite this clear act of assault captured on video, Pullease has been collecting a paycheck as the department investigates. Last week, 7 News asked why that was the case.
“If one of us had ever grabbed an officer by the throat, we would be arrested. We would be put in jail. Why is that not happened with him?” 7 News asked the chief as he dodged the question.
“So there’s some details of the investigation that I’ve not disclosed, that I’m unable to disclose right now, and if any of the information that comes up during the investigation rises to a level of criminal behavior or criminal conduct, then we’ll address it appropriately.”
Imagine watching the officer’s actions in the video below and not seeing criminal behavior.