After a four month internal affairs investigation, two Florida cops are no longer on the force.
On February 19, 2018, Cocoa police officers George Menendez and Jerry Nava responded to a fight that involved a possible stabbing at an apartment complex.
“I don’t need a search warrant,” Menendez said after forcing his way into the apartment where children were inside screaming and crying.
“You see this? You want to get tased?” Menendez asked as he held his taser to whom he thought was the suspect’s mother.
“He was like, ‘Step back, step back.’ As soon as I stepped back, he tased me,” 16-year-old Caprellia Stewart said of Nava in an interview with News6.
According to the nine-page internal investigation report, a complaint was filed against the officers five days after the incident.
The report states:
“THE COMPLAINANT, [REDACTED] ALLEGES IN SWORN CITIZENS COMPLAINT FORM DATED FEBRUARY 23, 2018 THAT ON FEBRUARY 19, 2018, OFFICER MENENDEZ, THREATENED HER WITH ARREST IF SHE DID NOT TELL HIM HER SON’S NAME. HE ENTERED HER RESIDENCE UNINVITED AND WITHOUT A WARRANT. HE THEN USED EXCESSIVE FORCE TO ARREST HER WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE AND THREATENED TO TASE HER BY PUTTING HIS TASER ON HER FACE WHILE IT WAS TURNED ON. [REDACTED] ALSO ALLEGES THAT DURING THE EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE, SHE DEFECATED ON HERSELF AND OFFICER MENENDEZ DID NOTHING TO HELP HER CLEAN HERSELF. [REDACTED] STATED THAT THIS ALL HAPPENED IN FRONT OF HER JUVENILE CHILDREN.”
The report goes on to say that Menendez felt justified to hold his taser against her head and threatening the woman.
Also in the report, Menendez was caught on his body camera taking a phone call at the station telling the other party that he was stuck at the station with a “nasty ass (expletive), a stupid ass (expletive), who ended up (expletive) all over herself. All crying about a supervisor. I’m just like shut up dammit.”
“Oh, my camera was on. I will probably get in trouble for that,” he told the other person after realizing it was still on.
Three days after the complaint was filed, both officers were notified of the charges/allegations.
Originally they were both placed on administrative duty pending the investigation.
“Nava used excessive force by tasing (her) without cause and then falsely arresting her for resisting an officer,” according to Officer Menendez own words in the Investigative report.
Nava has resigned after a two-day suspension and Menendez has been officially notified that he will be fired.
According to News 6, Menendez’s disciplinary file contained half a dozen other times for violating policy and procedure.
The state attorney’s office declined to prosecute either officer in the case and the department said it is not legally allowed to release the bodycam footage because it was recorded inside a private residence, which makes it confidential.