PRESS CONFERENCE: Titusville Police Chief John Lau Updates On Internal Investigation
By Space Coast Daily // March 6, 2018
"There are no policy violations on these two detectives," Lau stated on Tuesday
ABOVE VIDEO: Titusville Police Department held a press conference on Tuesday to update the public on an internal investigation regarding a Titusville Police detective placed on administrative leave. (WFTV Video)
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – Titusville Police Department held a press conference on Tuesday to update the public on an internal investigation regarding a Titusville Police detective placed on administrative leave in December.
A cell phone video surfaced on social media that captured an arrest in Titusville of 20-year-old Amari Nicholas Hair being arrested by two Titusville Police Detectives.
In the video, Hair is seen in handcuffs when he is wrestled to the ground and punched after a Titusville Police Detective tells Hair to stop reaching into his waistband.
Tuesday’s press conference provided a dashcam video from one of the officer’s police cruisers which played simultaneously to the social media video that was posted by bystanders who witnessed the arrest.
Lau concluded his department found the officers acted appropriately on that December 27th afternoon.
“There are no policy violations on these two detectives,” Lau stated at Tuesday night’s press conference in Titusville. “Detective Bernd has been exonerated on all allegations.”
“The important takeaway on this is we cannot jump to conclusions. I’ll be very honest with you, the first time, myself and my staff viewed the Facebook video, there were some very disturbing things to us as we looked at it. But, that is a part of the investigation, and internal affairs investigation literally looks under each and every rock.”
In the dashcam video, footage shows the suspect reach into waistband as officers instructed him not to.
After taken to the police station, Hair was found to be in possession of heroin laced in fentanyl, along with other drugs seen in the picture below.
Lau went on to mention the discussion of Citizen Review Boards and how he is not in favor of them.
“This case is a textbook case on why a Citizen Review Board would really not be wise because there are some technical takedowns and maneuvers in police work that a lot goes into when looking at this. We had another member of a community judging this and after a week and a half he said his investigation was complete and the officer has to be terminated. That would’ve been wrong.”
Titusville Police met with formal and informal leaders in the community to brief them on their findings before the press conference regarding the investigation, Lau said.
Lau closed up the press conference by mentioning he does support a Police Community Relations Committee, similar to the City of Melbourne’s.
The suspect, Hair, was charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession of Hydromorphone, Resisting an Officer and Driving With a Suspended License.
Hair’s girlfriend was also arrested on December 27 after she was found to be in possession of cocaine.
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