A five year Air Force veteran is suing two Orlando police officers and the city after video emerged of one of the officers viciously beating him, while the other turned away to avoid capturing footage on a body cam he was wearing.
Refus Holloway was attacked after police were called to the scene where the veteran was attempting to break up a fight between two other men at a relative’s house.
Holloway attempted to show the police his military ID, and was not being confrontational according to witnesses. However, he was ordered to get on the ground, where he was cuffed face down.
Despite clearly not resisting in any way, Holloway was pepper sprayed and had a loaded gun pointed at him by officer Joel Williams. Video taken by Holloway’s sister shows him being punched, beaten, kicked, and unceremoniously dragged through the dirt by officer William Escobar.
Additional footage from Williams’ body cam reveals that the officer yelled at his partner to stop using excessive force, but did nothing to stop Escobar, opting instead to turn away so as not to catch the incident on camera.
“That’s what my whole disappointment is about this. They allowed it to happen,” Holloway told reporters.
“When you see the body cam video just in and of itself, it’s not concerning when you see the entire video, the cellphone video and then body cam that kind of pieces things together,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.
In an internal affairs report, officer Escobar testified, “The way I told you the incident happened, that’s the way it happened, that’s the way I remembered it. Obviously I can’t dispute what the video shows.”
Escobar has since been fired and faces two counts of battery and two counts of perjury.
Officer Williams, on the other hand, was not disciplined, prompting Holloway’s attorney Carlus Haynes to suggest that there is a fundamental systemic problem in the police department.
“What we want to do is change the culture. We want to change the environment that allowed this to happen in the first place,” Haynes said.
“I’m happy that God’s been watching me this whole time,” Holloway said. “I could have gotten shot by the officers by being too nervous. I could have gotten severely beaten. I could have gotten into, you know, different turns that situation could have taken.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.