Fort Lauderdale

Homeless Man Slapped by Fort Lauderdale Officer Files Lawsuit

Nearly two years after a videotaped incident showing a homeless man being slapped by a Fort Lauderdale police officer, that man is taking both the city and that officer to court.

Bruce LaClair filed a lawsuit in federal court this week, alleging that Officer Victor Ramirez falsely arrested him and violated his civil rights. Ramirez was acquitted of battery charges and filing a false police report by a Broward County jury 10 months ago.

Ramirez was suspended 20 days by the department as a result of violating policy in the case.

The February 2015 incident sent shock waves across the country. It showed the interaction at a downtown bus terminal, where Ramirez tried to remove LaClair after finding the man sleeping there.

After LaClair pulled away, Ramirez could be seen pushing the man to the ground and slapping him when he tried to pull away a second time. Video of the incident was taken by a bystander who later posted it online.

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