SUNRISE, FLA. – A police sergeant in Sunrise, Florida is on administrative duty and under investigation after body-cam video showed him putting his hands on the throat of a female officer who was trying to stop him from using excessive force against a man in custody.
The Sunrise Police Department recently released body-camera footage of the incident that occurred on Nov. 19. In the video Sgt. Christopher Pullease is seen putting his hand around the throat and then collar of a fellow officer after she physically pulled him away from a suspect who was in handcuffs. Due to an ongoing investigation, the department muted the audio of the video and blurred the faces of all officers at the scene, other than Pullease.
The incident occured when Sunrise police were arresting a man at a local convenience store for allegedly assaulting people outside. The video begins with police trying to put the man in a police car. Although he appears to be resisting, the man is eventually seated in the vehicle with his hands cuffed behind him.
When Pullease arrives at the scene he appears to antagonize a situation that had already been diffused, approaching the suspect with pepper spray in hand and appearing to threaten him.
At that point a female officer grabs Pullease by his belt and pulls him away from the man.
Pullease then directs his rage towards his fellow officer, grabbing her by the neck as he points his finger in her face.
“I find it to be inappropriate and unprofessional, because what he did is he escalated the situation when calm was actually required,” Chief Anthony Rosa told 7 News Miami, describing Pullease’s actions that day as “disgusting.”
Chief Rosa says the young officer did the right thing.
Chief Rosa: “So I’m very proud of this police officer. She took some definitive action. I can only imagine what she must be feeling. She’s a newer officer, and he’s a very senior sergeant.”
Sgt. Pullease is currently on desk duty while the investigation is on going.