The Palm Beach Post reports that a judge has decided to overturn one of the convictions of an officer in an assault case from 2014. The Boynton Beach officer, Michael Brown, was convicted last November of two charges after a video was uncovered of him beating Jeffrey Braswell with other officers. The charges were deprivation of rights under color of law and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
The video showed Brown and other officers kicking and hitting Braswell, who is from Lake Worth. He was unarmed. Two other passengers were in the car with him and were subject to the violence after leading a car chase on I-95.
Brown asked the court to overturn the second count that carried a mandatory 5-year sentence. He is a father of three and widowed, and argued in court that one of the enhanced videos from the incident show him holstering his weapon prior to punching Braswell.
U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg upheld the conviction on the count of deprivation because there was enough evidence showing he used excessive force willfully. This count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison but a lesser minimum sentence.
Brown filed his motion with the court shortly after a juror from Sargeant Philip Antico’s case wrote a letter to the judge explaining she had been bullied into voting for a conviction for lying to FBI agents. Antico was on duty on the night in question but wasn’t present during the attack. He was convicted of lying to FBI agents due to original reports being changed after the fact.
Former officers Justin Harris and Ronald Ryan were acquitted.
The next hearing is scheduled for February 13. Antico faces up to three years in prison, but is hoping for just probation. His attorney is not requesting a new trial yet, but is asking the judge to interview the juror to determine if there should be further investigation into the matter.