The Florida State Attorney’s Office is investigating Orlando Police Officer William Escobar after body cam footage the department claimed didn’t exist has mysteriously surfaced.
In June, a video was uploaded to YouTube which was recorded by Luciarae Fripp, the sister of 25 year old Refus Holloway, a former military police officer who served in the Air Force.
The incident took place outside of a relative of Holloway’s house after police were called regarding a fight that he had been trying to break up.
“Refus was trying to tell the police officers what happened,” Holloway’s lawyer Bradley Laurent told the Orlando Sentinal. “He wasn’t yelling, he wasn’t being belligerent in any way shape or form.”
The nearly two minute long and highly disturbing video shows Holloway being brutally beaten, while face down and handcuffed, by Officer Escobar.
Escobar began working for OPD in 2012, and has already been the target of several citizen complaints, none of which have led to formal internal investigations or discipline, The Sentinel reported.
Holloway was not charged with assaulting an officer or resisting arrest, despite the blatant lies in Escobar’s police report.
According to Escobar’s report, he meant to punch Holloway in the back, but instead hit him in the head as he was trying to stand up while resisting being handcuffed.
The video uploaded to YouTube shows that to be a lie, as he was already cuffed and face down as the officer began assaulting him.
Escobar proceeds to drag Holloway several feet and claims he kicked Holloway after Holloway “curled up” his leg as if to kick the officer, WFTV reports.
This was also a lie, disproven by his sister’s footage.
The Orlando Police Department also lied for the officer in their checklist that they sent to the State Attorney’s office, claiming there was no body camera footage, which we now know does infact exist.
In an unrelated interview last week, WFTV asked Police Chief John Mina what he hoped to accomplish with his use of body cameras, to which he responded “Hopefully a reduction in citizen complaints when the officers wear cameras. Hopefully a reduction of injuries to both officers and suspects.”
A little hard to be effective when the footage can’t make it across that thin blue line, don’t you think?
This case is a perfect example of why we need more cameras pointed at police and less pointed at us.
Always film the police. Learn more about your right to film here.