FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Bodycam video has been released showing a Fort Lauderdale Police officer beating a tourist to the ground during an arrest earlier this year. The man’s lawyer has called it excessive force.
The incident happened outside The Wharf nightclub on the night of Feb. 21.
Francisco Moore and a group of tourists, who were visiting from Pennsylvania to celebrate a birthday, got confused about the commands from the officers and one of them made matters worse by getting physical.
“I felt like I was complying 100%,” said Moore.
Moore said he, his fiancée and family members were leaving The Wharf after a dispute inside with an employee. He is seen on camera wearing a red cap and holding hands with his fiancée, Tracy.
“Mr. Moore is clearly saying, ‘We’re leaving! We’re leaving! We’re out, we’re leaving!’” said Moore’s attorney Gustavo Frances. “Then the officer calls out to Tracy, and Tracy pays attention to the officer.”
The attorney said Tracy is pulled toward the officer still holding Moore’s hand. That’s when Officer Alexander Paul grabs Moore’s arm and punches him in the face, knocking him several feet away.
“Officer Paul starts conflict. Officer Paul says in his report that he was attempting to deescalate the situation,” Frances said.
An officer’s bodycam then starts focusing on Moore’s fiancée on the ground. When the officer moves, Moore is seen back on the ground with Paul and men not believed to be police officers on top of him.
Paul was caught on camera blowing punches to Moore’s face, leaving him bruised and bloody.
“If you look at the video, you could tell that I was telling him we were leaving, and I still don’t understand why it had to escalate the way it did,” Moore said.
Paul was also identified in the 2019 shooting of a man at the Fort Lauderdale bus terminal.
Despite all the chaos, Moore’s lawyer said the violence was unnecessary and that the officers knew it.
“Police officers are held to a higher standard. It is their job to enforce the laws. Police officers are not allowed to just beat people because they don’t like what they say. I find it hard to believe that Fort Lauderdale Police calls using your fists de-escalation,” Frances said.
“I feel like he shouldn’t be a cop anymore, like, you supposed to serve and protect people,” Moore said.
The attorney said there is a strong possibility they will sue in this case, and they’re gathering their information together.
7News reached out to Fort Lauderdale Police Department for comment on both the arrest and whether the shooting case was resolved. They have yet to respond.