Police Officer Fired, Arrested For Using Unnecessary Force
August 18, 2012
A Pensacola Police officer was fired Friday after a routine review of his patrol vehicle’s camera revealed he used unnecessary force in making a recent arrest.
Officer Christopher Geraci also was arrested and charged with battery.
“This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Pensacola Police Chief Simmons said, adding that the incident was found through a routine supervisory review of the videotape and was not the result of a complaint. Department supervisors review all uses of force.
The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. August 2 when Geraci responded to a hit and run crash at D and Cervantes streets. The driver – identified as Abbi Bonds, 29, of Pensacola – was found with the car in the 1100 block of North C Street. The car had heavy front end damage and was disabled.
During a verbal exchange between Geraci and Bonds, Geraci approached Bonds and grabbed her by her left arm. He then forcibly slung her into the side of the car, then grabbed the back of her head and forced it into the top of the vehicle while placing her in handcuffs.
“When I saw the video, I was shocked and disappointed,” Simmons said. “This is not how we train, it was unreasonable force and it was inconsistent with the level of resistance.”
Bonds was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage, failure to yield, driving under the influence, and not having proof of insurance.
Geraci, 33, was hired by the department as a cadet on March 1, 2004, and promoted to police officer on March 14, 2005. He presently was assigned to the department’s K-9 Unit in the Uniform Patrol Division.
Upon review of the video, Geraci was placed on leave until he was fired Friday.