Jury selection was underway Tuesday in the trial of a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy accused of punching a handcuffed suspect back in 2019.
Kevin Fanti was charged with battery after surveillance video showed him punching a man at an intake center.
In court Tuesday, attorneys on both sides wanted to make sure the potential jury would not be swayed by the current pulse nationwide involving police officers using excessive force.
When the video showing Fanti apparently punching Kyle Paul while he waited to be processed into jail surfaced in July 2019, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony denounced the behavior and moved to fire Fanti.
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"It's unacceptable," Tony said. "There isn’t any excuse for it. There isn’t any policy I need to see to tell me that that's wrong."
Attorneys on both sides of the case were focused on picking a fair jury. Prosecutors wanted to avoid speaking about what led Paul to be arrested in the first place, while the defense said that part of the story indeed plays a role in the current battery charges.
The judge did want to know however, how Fanti came into the picture and what led to the punches.
When it happened, the sheriff said Paul may have said something to trigger the deputy's response.
“We don’t strike individuals in handcuffs and we have to have a better temperament," Tony said.
Both attorneys declined to comment to NBC 6 on Tuesday.
Once the jury is selected, the judge said the trial will take about two days to wrap up.