PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – A Florida police officer was fired and arrested after a camera mounted in his car showed him slamming a hit-and-run suspect against her car multiple times.
The video appears to show officer Christopher Geraci grab suspect Abbi Bonds’ arm and shove her after she refused to obey his command that she hang up her cellphone and reenter her car, WEAR-TV reported.
Geraci then appears to grab Bonds by the hair and force her against the side of the car as he attempts to handcuff her.
“I’m not fighting you,” she is heard saying. “Why are you hitting me?”
Bonds, 29, is suspected of being the driver in a hit-and-run accident.
Based on the video, it seems Bonds did not resist Geraci as she stood outside her damaged vehicle around 2 a.m. on Aug. 2. However, she allegedly failed several sobriety tests, leading to charges of driving under the influence, in addition to leaving the scene of an accident.
Pensacola Police Chief Chip Simmons quickly distanced the department from Geraci, who was charged with misdemeanor battery.
“You should only use the level of force that is necessary,” Simmons told HuffPost. “What we saw on that video is in excess of that … It fell short of our expectations.”
On Friday, Simmons said in a statement that Geraci used “unreasonable force.”
Bonds hasn’t filed a complaint against the department. The video surfaced because Geraci’s paperwork about the arrest included a “use of force” report, triggering his supervisors to examine the dashboard camera footage.
“When I saw the video, I was shocked and disappointed,” Simmons said, according to the Pensacola Business Journal. It was unreasonable force, and it was inconsistent with the level of resistance.”
Although she wouldn’t specify her injuries, Bonds told WEAR-TV that she still feels pain from the rough treatment.
Geraci, 33, had been with the department since 2004 and Simmons told HuffPost that there was at least one complaint against Geraci for being “discourteous” to the public while on duty.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to one year in jail. Prosecutors also said Geraci’s treatment of Bonds will affect how they handle the charges against her.
Unlike most inmates in Florida, a mug shot of Geraci was not made available.