Homestead, FL — Ask any police officer anywhere what happens to suspects when they run from police. Most, if they’re honest, will tell you the perpetrator will most likely get a beat down by the boys in blue for fleeing. But one fleeing suspect’s only crime was not having a legal license plate cover and for running away from police he received a beating which placed him in the hospital.
Sabrian Bruton believed he was complying with the law in the summer of 2018 when he was pulled over by a Homestead, FL police officer Christian DeJohn for having an illegal license plate cover. But when DeJohn approached the vehicle, Bruton immediately noticed the officer had his gun drawn and was pointing it at his face. Bruton instantly begged the officer not to shoot him. The reportedly jittery police officer only holstered his sidearm after backup arrived. Eileen Calvo was the backup cop.
Even with the weapon holstered, Bruton believed the police officer was going to kill him. After all, he had just pointed a loaded weapon at his head for a license plate cover! In a lawsuit filed recently, Bruton described what happened next.
According to the Miami New Times’ review of the lawsuit:
Bruton says the cops returned to their cars, ran his information, came back, and ordered him out of his Buick. Bruton complied, upon which DeJohn again drew his firearm and ordered Bruton to the ground. Bruton, afraid of the officer’s increasingly agitated demeanor, again pleaded with DeJohn not to shoot him and appealed to Calvo for assistance.
Instead of calming down her fellow police officer, Calvo retreated to her car, taser drawn, and began to drive it slowly in Bruton’s direction. Still standing, apparently unable to comply out of fear, the young man decided to make a run for it.
The Miami New Times continues:
Once he took off, Bruton says, four more cops — Kevin Carvajal, Engelburt Guzman, Carlos Lago, and Shavar Simmons — rushed to the scene to help Calvo and DeJohn track him down. The six officers eventually found Bruton, who says the agitated group of cops responded by pinning him to the ground and gang-beating him within an inch of his life. The suit alleges the six cops punched and kicked Bruton in the face, slammed him into the ground repeatedly, and painfully wrenched his limbs in odd positions to restrain him. Bruton says the attack forced him to pay out medical expenses and left him with permanent scarring.
There’s corroborating evidence which backs up his claims. There’s a picture of Burton’s face with black eyes, swollen cheekbones, and a busted lip. DeJohn makes no mention of beating Burton but does say in his report he noticed blood on his mouth.
The other officers, however, did admit to using fists and feet to inflict pain on the young man and claimed it was a legal and necessary use of force. Their department stands behind its officers as well. Burton did have a suspended license for an unknown reason, but does such actions warrant a beat-down?
In the land of the free, if one does not pay their extortion fees to the state to be able to drive a car and does not use the proper license plate cover, if they fear for their life and run away, the police will likely apply a sadistic beating.
And of course, they get away with it. If you or I in our friend squad ran someone down, pinned them and then beat them, we would go away for years. But since they have a badge, they’re allowed to beat people in packs like a violent street gang.