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Police officer charged with misdemeanor criminal charges

A recent encounter between a Florida police officer and a disabled veteran took an unusual turn. When the 20-year police department veteran observed a man walking into a store after parking in a handicapped spot, he confronted the man. Things went downhill from there, and the end result is misdemeanor criminal charges for the police officer as well as administrative leave from his position of the police force.

The incident took place in August. According to reports, the officer approached an Army veteran who has served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. After sustaining traumatic brain injury, the man is classified as a disabled vet. He wears braces on both legs, which assist him in walking long distances. He has a valid handicapped placard in his vehicle, which gives him the right to park in designated handicapped spots.

There is no mention whether the man was wearing leg braces when approached by the police officer. What is apparent is that the military veteran became extremely upset when his right to park in the handicapped spot was challenged. The police officer allegedly slapped a phone out of the man's hand as he was attempting to film the altercation, which led to the misdemeanor charge of battery and criminal mischief.

In a recording of the incident, the police officer is heard telling the man to move the camera out of his face shortly before the camera seems to be knocked out of the man's hands. In making his response to the misdemeanor criminal charges, the officer may claim that he was being threatened by the man's gestures and actions, and he took what he believed was the appropriate action. An incident between a police officer and a disabled vet certainly gained a great deal of media attention, which could place pressure on authorities to make an example out of the Florida officer.

Source: nydailynews.com, "SEE IT: Florida police officer faces charges after argument with wounded vet over parking space -- GRAPHIC LANGUAGE", Laurie Hanna, Nov. 12, 2015

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