Homestead Police Officer Arrested for Pushing Handcuffed Inmate Into Wall

Officer Lester Brown facing two felony charges, officials say

A Homestead police officer is facing charges after authorities say he pushed a handcuffed inmate into a wall at a police substation last year.

The officer, Lester Brown, surrendered Wednesday to face charges of felony battery and official misconduct in the December 2018 incident that left the inmate bloody, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Homestead Police Chief Alexander Rolle Jr. announced at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. 

Authorities said the inmate, Jose Garcia, had been arrested for disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence and had been brought to the station for booking.

Surveillance footage released by authorities showed that during the booking process, Brown shoved the shirtless man head-first into the concrete wall, as his hands were cuffed behind his back.

Garcia was hospitalized and treated for a laceration to his head.

"This should never happen in this community," Fernandez Rundle said.

Fernandez Rundle said Brown wrote in the report that the man had fallen forward and attempted to attack other officers.

"We believe that the video evidence does not support Officer Brown's written account," Fernandez Rundle said.

Brown's attorney told the Miami Herald the arrest was a result of a "political" vendetta and said his actions were justified since the man was uncooperative.

Brown was booked into jail and released later Wednesday. Rolle said Brown has been relieved of duty without pay pending termination. 

"We're not gonna tolerate this kind of behavior from one of our officers," Rolle said.

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