A Florida cop has been suspended after a video went viral which shows him pushing a woman to the ground during a protest right before Black officer intervened and yanked him out of her face.
According to ABC News, Fort Lauderdale police chief Rick Maglione explained that several officers were coming to the assistance of a colleague who felt endangered after demonstrators began jumping on a patrol car.
While attempting to rescue their colleague, Poherence forcefully pushed a woman to the ground and only stopped due to the interference of a Black female officer who is shown in the clip chastising him as she walks him away from the scene.
Maglione says Poherence’s actions are set to be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before any internal investigation is conducted.
Maglione acknowledges that watching the officer attack the woman is most likely what provoked the crowd of bystanders to throw bottles, but maintains he believes some people in the crowd were also hoping to start a fight with police. He does, however, concede that the demonstration had been peaceful up until that tense moment.
“I don’t think (Poherence’s) action created what occurred…we were in the process of an officer rescue that turned into another officer rescue,” he said before admitting Poherence’s actions “could have added to what was going on.”
As for the officer who pushed Poherence away from the woman, he commended her, stating, “She did what you are supposed to do — when you see either adrenaline or emotion or some kind of interaction going south…that is our job to do is intervene.”
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis slammed Poherence’s actions, characterizing them as “offensive,” and stating his full support for the department’s choice to suspend him.
“I thought that was something that should have never happened,” the mayor said.