Caught on surveillance video assaulting an innocent man and later falsifying the arrest report, a Florida police officer has resigned and another was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.
In early February, Chris Cordero was driving to the market to pick up medicine for his young son when Lake Wales Police Officer Colt Black pulled him over for reportedly not wearing his seatbelt. According to Officer Black’s police report, Cordero immediately exited his car with fists clenched and charged at Black.
But according to home surveillance footage from a neighbor’s house, Cordero calmly exited his car and stepped towards Black to speak with him. In the video, Cordero remained still for nearly a minute before Black suddenly tackled him to the ground and assaulted him.
A few moments later, Lake Wales Police Officer Travis Worley arrived at the scene and assisted Black in assaulting Cordero. According to Cordero, Officer Worley used a racial slur after Black sucker-punched him and broke a piece of his tooth in the process.
Cordero was initially charged with resisting arrest, assault on a law enforcement officer, and making a death threat to a law enforcement officer. After Cordero contacted the owner of the house and obtained a copy of the surveillance video, the Polk County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the footage and decided to drop the charges against Cordero.
When Officer Black was ordered to watch the video of the arrest, he wrote in another report, “I believe my perception was altered due to the high stress of the incident.”
Effective February 10, Black resigned from the police department. Worley has been placed on administrative station duty pending an investigation.
Cordero has reportedly hired a law firm and plans to file a lawsuit against the city and police department for making a wrongful arrest and violating his civil rights.