Jul 01, 2020
White Florida Officer Charged in Shoving of Black Woman
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A white Florida police officer was charged with battery Tuesday for allegedly shoving a kneeling Black woman to the ground during a protest march last month, prosecutors said.
Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said Fort Lauderdale officer Steven Pohorence, 29, was seen “intentionally touching or striking” the 19-year-old woman during a civil rights protest march on May 31.
The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Satz said in a news release that the decision on whether to seek a misdemeanor or felony charge was based on the extent of the injuries suffered by the woman, identified as Jada Servance in court documents.
The case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The encounter was captured on video during one of the marches around the country protesting police brutality after the police custody death in Minneapolis of an African American man, George Floyd.
Pohorence was previously suspended with pay by the Fort Lauderdale police chief but as a result of the battery charge decision, his status will be changed to administrative leave without pay.
It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday if Pohorence has a lawyer to speak for him. The union representing Fort Lauderdale officers has declined comment. An initial court date has not yet been set.
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Authorities: Union County Man, 20, Arrested In Asphyxiation Death Of Young Woman
A Plainfield man was arrested in what law enforcement officials are calling the asphyxiation death of a young woman, said authorities who charged him.
Authorities found the unresponsive woman while performing a welfare check at a home on the 700 block of Kensington Avenue Monday, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Plainfield Police Director Lisa Burgess said.
Bryan H. Gonzalez-Martines, 20, was charged the following day with first-degree murder in connection with the asphyxiation death of the female, whose name and age were not released. It is not clear how Gonzalez-Martines knew the victim.
The investigation was conducted by the Union County Prosecutor's Homicide Task Force, the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, the Plainfield Police Division, and the United States Marshals Service
Anyone with information on this matter is urged to contact Sergeant Scuorzo at 908-527-4152 or Detective Kirsch at 908-527-4201.