Recently released police body cam video revealed a Kissimmee police sergeant ordering an officer to shove a teenager off a roof after the teen had surrendered to them. According to an internal affairs report, the police sergeant resigned before investigators recommended his termination from the department.
On March 3, Kissimmee police officers began chasing 18-year-old Yadiel Torres, who was accused of stealing his girlfriend’s car. Torres fled to a window on the second floor of the residence and attempted to escape across the roof, but Sgt. Anthony Amada and another officer were waiting below him in the backyard.
According to Officer Plenio Massiah’s body cam video, Massiah followed Torres through the window and approached the teen as he sat at the edge of the roof. As Torres surrendered and asked to go back through the window, Sgt. Amada ordered Massiah to push the teen off the roof.
“Push him off the roof. Push him off. Just push him off. Push him off,” Amada incessantly repeated.
Instead of placing Torres in handcuffs and escorting him back inside the house, Massiah immediately shoved the teen off the roof. As Torres landed in the backyard, Amada fired his Taser at the teen for no apparent reason.
“Alright! I’m down,” Torres told the officers. “I’m not resisting!”
Torres was placed under arrest and later pleaded guilty to grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest without violence, and violating probation from an earlier domestic violence case. He was sentenced to a year and a half of supervised probation.
In June, Amada resigned before internal affairs investigators could recommend terminating him. A memo recommending his termination noted, “Personnel who have reached a supervisory position are held to even greater standards than officers or civilian personnel because their guidance, influence and knowledge contribute to the overall success of the department.”
Amada was reportedly facing a separate excessive force violation prior to his resignation. He also received a 120-hour suspension for carelessness during a pursuit in 2018.
Last week, Massiah received an 8-hour suspension after an internal review of the arrest for “for failing to follow KPD general order.” Although Massiah claimed that he feared a struggle with Torres could have resulted in both of them falling off the roof, the video revealed that Torres never attacked the officer or made any threatening moves toward him.
Despite the fact that Torres did not sustain any injuries from falling off the roof, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell admitted, “Massiah’s decision to push the suspect off the roof could have resulted in significant injury.”