Residents address city leaders over rough arrest

- Chad Washington was arrested by Sarasota police back on March 22.  His family claims officers used excessive force, but three weeks after the incident, police say they did nothing wrong.

“After reviewing the entire case, I can tell you that our officers acted appropriately in this case,” Chief Bernadette DiPino told a review board.

It started when Washington’s fiancée called 911 to report a medical emergency.

“He’s rolling around on the floor, throwing up everywhere,” she can be heard saying during the call. 

According to investigators, Washington was high on spice and attacked multiple officers.  The 35-year-old was charged with possession of a controlled substance and three counts of battery on an officer.

Supporters of Washington think the officers are the ones who deserve to be charged.

“I believe the charges against Chad need to be dropped, and that the officers who brutally attacked Chad need to be arrested and fired,” one man said during a Monday night City Commission meeting. 

About 10 people spoke out against the police department, saying Washington did nothing wrong. 

Washington’s fiancée told leaders she had no clue police were going to show up when she called for an ambulance.  She says when officers arrived, they immediately started beating Washington.

“Continued to punch, kick, and choke Chad,” Darnesha McMIllan said.  “Chad never put up a fight, Chad was not armed, he never posed a threat.”

Authorities admit police used a Taser on Washington 13 times, but say it only deployed correctly once -- a narrative supporters don’t agree with.

“The whole entire time he was screaming for help, every time he heard the Taser buzz you heard him scream,” said McMillan.

Washington is still behind bars for the incident.  He’s set to be arraigned on the charges next month.

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