WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – New video from a two-year-old case shows a West Palm Beach police officer beating a man in his 60s, leaving the victim bloodied and with a broken nose.
The actions resulted in Officer Nicholas Lordi being arrested and charged with battery
"I feel good now, it's justice," said John Monroque, the victim of that brutal assault.
In the video of the incident, Officer Lordi is seen checking his identification, then coming from behind and slamming Monroque onto a squad car.
A struggle ensues as Officer Lordi and a second officer, Jamesloo Charles, tried to handcuff Monroque.
They end up on the ground with Lordi lying on his back while holding Monroque in a headlock. The struggle went on for more than a minute.
Lordi then starts punching.
"He jumped on my back and punched me in my face and knocked me around and brutalized me. It wasn't called for, he was supposed to protect and serve the people not to distort people's lives," added Monroque.
He suffered a fractured skull, broken nose and traumatic brain injury. He was accused of trespassing outside a grocery store.
The incident took place Nov. 1, 2019, six months before the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis caused a national outcry against excessive force by police.
Monroque told investigators, at one point, he was unconscious.
Lordi said in a deposition in 2020 that Monroque was "disrespectful" and was "fighting, pulling away, and not listening to commands."
The officer told investigators that Monroque had tried to grab the second officer's gun magazine and they "had to use force." He said he had delivered a few "softening strikes" to the man's face.
A West Palm Beach police statement says the department immediately launched a use-of-force investigation and asked FDLE to investigate once additional evidence was found. The FDLE report said surveillance video contradicts some of Lordi's statements.
The agency concluded that Lordi "used force in excess of what was necessary to mitigate the incident" and "intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement" to the victim.
Monroque's attorney, Sue-Ann Robinson, said his injuries, which he is still recovering from, isn't the worst part of this situation. She said Monroque was arrested on false charges for resisting, battery on an officer and accused of taking the officer's weapon.
"He went spent a lot of time in jail behind his false charges and those things affected his records, affected his ability to find housing," said Robinson.
She continued, "This officer prepared reports and lied, and that's not addressed. He did commit aggravated battery, and we're glad that he's been charged with that. But he also prepared an official document that is wrought with lies, and based on the investigation was contradicted by the video and physical evidence."
She also said this isn't the first time Lordi has been accused of excessive force.
And, while the charges were eventually dropped, Monroque's family members say if officials had listened from the beginning, none of this would have happened.
"Officer Lordi would not have gotten away with this and John would have not gone to prison if the state attorney looked at the video and took it seriously," said Monroque's sister, Geraldine.
Lordi turned himself in, but has since bonded out of jail. In addition to the aggravated battery charge, the affidavit for his arrest confirms he falsified the document for arresting Monroque.
"They were going to give me 30 years in jail. I hope they give him 90," said Monroque.
Monroque says he still suffering from those injuries. In fact, he has a CAT scan schedule for Thursday.
It was not clear whether the second officer was disciplined for his involvement in the Monroque arrest.
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