ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Orlando Police Department has admitted that one of their own officers used excessive force while trying to restrain a woman last year. Surveillance video shows Officer Livio Beccaccio throwing the woman to the ground, knocking out her teeth while he was trying to break up a fight.
“On behalf of the Orland Police Department we’d like to apologize to Ms. Wareham for her injuries as a result of being thrown to the ground,” said Deputy Chief Jeff O’Dell of the Orlando Police Department.
The incident happened in February of last year after a large crowd leaving the Central Station Bar downtown became rowdy. City surveillance cameras clearly show Officer Beccaccio pushing Lisa Wareham to the ground, and then pushing another man.
“Officer Beccaccio’s actions were excessive — in both investigations there was no evidence to suggest Officer Beccaccio intended to cause injury, however his actions did,” O’Dell said.
Officer Beccacio was suspended for one week without pay because of the incident. Wareham was accused of hitting Beccaccio and spewing racial slurs to another man, but charges against her were later dropped.
Officers say that video painted a different picture than the written statements in Officer Beccaccio’s initial report.
“When you read the report you create a picture in your mind, then what you see in the video, and in his investigation he agreed that video was an accurate depiction of what happened that night.” O’Dell said.
Because of the inconsistencies in the report versus the video, the department is now changing its policy when it comes to how they consider surveillance video in cases involving excessive force.
“Now we are requiring our supervisors and lieutenants also in a situation requiring use of force, to review the video to make sure that the story we’re putting on paper matches what we’re seeing on the video,” O’Dell said.