Officer Brian Lawlor was fired in 2005 following an incident of excessive force. He was also charged with 3rd degree assault, convicted and sentenced to one year suspended sentence (probation). The video from his police cruiser that caught the incident leading to his termination and charges was recently released to the public.
Officer Lawlor was involved in a police chase regarding a road rage incident. When his car rammed the suspect, he got out and confronted the driver. The suspect, Alexis Hernandez, was hit while still in the driver's seat and beaten once pulled from the car.
The video shows Officer Lawlor repeatedly punching Hernandez with his fists though Hernandez seems to offer no resistance. According to the Associated Press, in a verbalization of his rage, Lawlor can be heard saying on the video, “That was me being gentle!”
Though there were two other officers involved in the beating, they never faced charges. The incident included Hernandez being hit, kicked, and struck with a police firearm as well. Lawlor and his attorney insist that it appeared, prior to the stop, that Hernandez had been reaching for a weapon.
Although instances like this are rare, they make the news because they show the risk that is involved with police work and the amount of power granted to officers. This type of behavior is not common in the majority of police departments, but it does happen.
Police chases, DUI checkpoints, and even traffic stops all have the potential to turn ugly. Each and every one of these police interactions can be filled with stress and tension as the police try to determine if a law has been broken and the citizen feels cornered.
Even if you have only faced a DUI, you know the tension that occurs when it is apparent that your arrest is imminent. Facing handcuffs, potential jail time, and a criminal record is stressful no matter how professional the officer handling the arrest is.
If you are facing any criminal charge and are under stress wondering how to best deal with it, contact me today.