Monday, May 25, 2009

Police Officer Deliberately Pushes Woman Down Stairs - Video

Caught on Video: An Orlando, Florida, police officer allegedly appears to deliberately push a woman down a flight of stairs, after which he then files a criminal complaint of battery against her.

Officer Fernando Trinidad said in his police report regarding the incident which occurred at the now defunct Club Paris in April of 2007 that 27-year-old Jessica Asprilla twice spat in his face, pulled away from his grasp and then lost her balance and fell. The video clearly proves that is not how the incident went down.

Trinidad had charged Asprilla with battery, but Orlando police dismissed that charge after the video of the incident surfaced.

Asprilla, who is suing and reportedly wants Officer Trinidad fired, said "This officer wanted everyone to exit the club, and I told him I'm going down the stairs, and I'm leaving, and before I knew it, he pushed me, and I was on the ground."

"He never grabbed me. I never turned around and stood and faced him aggressively, and I did not spit in his face," Asprilla said. "Then he says I lost my balance and fell, that's exactly what's in the affidavit."

The nightclub's surveillance video showed Asprilla falling six steps and injuring her ankle. When Trinidad and another police officer reached the bottom of the stairs, neither officer checked to see if Asprilla was OK. Instead Asprilla said the officers walked right past her.

"I'm very, very, very lucky that there was a video to prove my innocence," Asprilla said.

The Internal Affairs Department of the Orlando Police investigated the incident, and the department took away eight hours of officer Trinidad's vacation time, claiming his actions are unbecoming of an officer.

Asprilla is not satisfied with that, however. "I don't think he should be on the force," Asprilla said.

Asprilla is also suing for medical bills and damage to her reputation and career as a social worker.

Orlando police Chief Val Demings said that Trinidad could now face criminal charges for his role in the incident.

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