Cop harasses disabled veteran because he doesn’t ‘look’ disabled

A police officer is accused of harassing a disabled veteran who parked in a handicap spot in the parking lot of a Walgreens in Riviera Beach.  The veteran –who identifies himself as “Isaiah” –on a video that was posted to YouTube, was questioned by the officer apparently because he did not “look disabled.”

That Riviera Beach officer can be heard telling the man, “You can walk. There are people out there who can’t walk.”

As the altercation escalates, the man starts yelling at the officer for breaking his phone. He says, “You smacked an 700-dollar phone out of my hand … there’s a big crack in it… if I did that to you you’d take me to jail, you’d arrest me for assaulting a police officer.”

“Isaiah” doesn’t back down. He is determined to convince this officer that he has every right to park in a handicap spot. He has all the paperwork to prove it, including all his medical forms from the VA and a handicap placard with his license number on it.

At one point during the argument, Isaiah says to the cop, “I don’t feel safe with you…. call another police officer.”  He spots a fire rescue truck parked nearby and yells at the paramedics to call someone, “call the police,” he says.  One of the paramedics replies, “That is a police officer.”

The veteran goes on to say, “I have three screws in my leg… was a combat infantryman…..blown up eight times.” He also mentions that he suffered a traumatic brain injury from getting shot at while doing two tours in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan.

A second officer arrives on the scene and immediately tries to calm the man down, and seems to be very apologetic about the whole situation.  Isaiah goes over to talk to that officer and immediately forms a bond with him, when the officer says, “I was a soldier too.”

The two begin a brief conversation about their military backgrounds:  “What’s your MOS?”  I was 54-BRAVO- … oh I was 11 BRAVO.”

Medically retired from the military after enlisting in September of 2005, Isaiah lambastes the first officer saying, “You have no right to tell me if I’m disabled. You are not a doctor. It’s not your job.”

The video ends with the man threatening to post the video on YouTube and report the incident to the officer’s supervisors — as well as file a lawsuit.

However, there’s no confirmation from the Riviera Police Dept. on whether any of those things happened or whether the officer found out any questionable information after ‘running’ the man’s information.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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