April 28, 2010

Fort Lauderdale Cop Scoffs at the Law.

Bob Norman's Pulp blog brings us the story of a Fort Lauderdale cop who is basically a threat to law and order, and an affront to our justice system.  Officer Jeff Overcash arrested a man for having the temerity to ask Overcash for his name and badge number. 

According to Attorney Brad Cohen, who is representing that man, this is what happened up to the moment caught on video:
"We have several witnesses for the incident prior to the arrest.  The facts are essentially the train was going past the intersection, on SW 2nd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.  My client,  Brennen Hamilton, was waiting with his wife and friends for the train to pass.  My client leaned up against the rear of the police car.

Officer Overcash approached my client and took him by the arm and said "Get your ass off the car.  How would you like it if I leaned my ass on your car?"  My client remained silent and rolled his eyes.  The Officer said "Really tough guy, you have something to say to me?"  My client remained silent.  Officer Overcash then said "Yeah, that's right tough guy, you've got nothing to say."  The train passed and my client and his wife went to his car and called Fort Lauderdale Police, to complain about the treatment he just received.  There wasn't a Lt. or a Sgt. working at that time, so he left his number.  During the call he was asked for the Officer's name and badge number.  He did not know that information.

After getting off the phone he went back to Officer Overcash and asked him if he could please give him his badge number and name.  That is where the video is recorded .  You can see my client approach calmly and request his badge and name.  Without hesitation Officer Overcash immediately puts my client in cuffs, and ultimately charges him with resisting without violence and disorderly intoxication."
- JAA Blog
Here's the video:

Here's the thing; this crooked cop claims that he's arresting law-abiding Brendan Hamilton for "a previous incident."  But if there was such an incident, Overcash would have been compelled by law to arrest Hamilton at the time of the incident.  So either Overcash broke the law by not arresting Hamilton in the first place, or he broke it when he arrested him on camera.  One way or the other, Overcash was clearly derelict in his duty.

But it seems pretty obvious that there was no "previous incident."  Overcash and two other officers are slouching against the patrol care, looking in a completely different direction.  There is no sign that just moments before there was any kind of scuffle that might have warranted arrest.  They're leaning against the police care (just as Hamilton had done) watching the crowd go by.  They almost look bored.

No, Overcash abused his power simply to punish a citizen for lawfully exercising his civic duty. And it should cost him his career.

We can't tolerate officers who abuse their power in this manner.  Every day that thugs like Overstreet - who don't give a shit about the law - remain on the job, we're all in danger.

Let's all remind Chief Adderly that this city belongs to the citizens, not a few
jack-booted thugs.  You can reach him at:


  1. Brennen Hamilton's record:

    In Broward:

    1. Municipal Ordinance
    2. Disorderly Conduct (Misdemeanor)
    3. Disobey/Avoid Red Light
    4. Driving on Wrong Side of the Road
    5. Improper Use of HOV Lane
    6. Evasion of Toll
    7. Evasion of Toll
    8. Improper Use of HOV Lane
    9. Expired Tag
    10. Careless Driving

    All but 3 & 4 were in the last 2 years. And that's just Broward.

    In Miami, he was charged with
    1. Assault and Battery
    2. Disorderly Conduct
    3. No Splash Device?
    4. Evasion of Toll
    5. Evasion of Toll
    6. Evasion of Toll
    7. No Registration
    8. Improper Eye Protection
    9. Driving a motorcycle w/o a license
    10. Expired tags
    11. Knowingly driving with a suspended license
    12. Defective Equipment
    13. Improper Eye Protection
    14. Illegal pass on motorcycle

    And in Palm Beach County, a search of his name brings up 20 criminal/traffic cases against him.

    That's FORTY-FOUR cases against him. I just wonder exactly how respectful he was to the officer before the video started, given his lack of respect for the law up until now.

  2. Ad hominem argument doesn't change the facts of this case. By bringing up bunch of traffic infractions of the individual, you can't whitewash the abuse of police power in this case.

  3. If he's paid his fines and done his time, we have to consider him a free citizen with all the rights thereof. And what does the record indicate, beyond poor driving skills and sloppy paperwork?

    We see one assault and battery charge in Miami; that might be relevant, if we knew more about it. Did that case come up to trial? I've been to South Beach clubs; it's easy to get involved in a fight down there, with all the machismo and mojitos.

    I'm always suspicious of "disorderly conduct" citations. That's too often a cop's catch-all when he's decided to arrest someone who might not have actually done anything more than irritate the cop.

    We still come back to this; if he did something "prior" to the moment caught on tape that warranted arrest, he should have been arrested then, especially given this record. If he didn't do anything to warrant getting arrested before the tape, then the incident that he was actually arrested for was, in fact, asking the officer for his badge, something any citizen has the right to do any time.

    It's truly a disturbing amount of citations, but he's still allowed to ask a cop for his name and badge number. Assholes have rights too. Dammit.

  4. Officer Overcash was relieved of duty 05/02/10 re: this incident.

    I guess Hamilton's record doesn't matter to IA

  5. Officer Overcash was relieved of duty 05/02/10 re: this incident.

    I guess Hamilton's record doesn't matter to IA