Anthony Vincent, a Broward County Sheriff’s Office employee, filed a lawsuit recently that accuses officers in Broward County of using excessive force and harassing him because of his sexual preferences, news sources indicate. The lawsuit names Corporal Jose Saud, Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Deputy Roberto Aspuru as the accused. Vincent was suspended from his job after he allegedly leaked a videotape of the incident. So far, no legal charges have been pressed against the accused. It is unclear whether they have hired a legal representation.
Reports say Vincent holds a position at the Broward County Sheriff’s office. The office suspended him previously after he allegedly leaked surveillance footage. The footage depicted Vincent allegedly being arrested by three other officers. However, Vincent appealed that suspension and the office reinstated him on October 30. That same day he was reinstated, Vincent announced that he was filing a lawsuit, claiming his civil rights had been violated when he was unlawfully arrested by Aspuru and Saud. Vincent alleges the two officers targeted him because he is openly gay.
Vincent’s lawsuit claims that his “constitutionally protected civil rights” were violated when the two officers conducted an “unreasonable seizure of his person through an unlawful traffic stop.” The lawsuit also claims that Vincent’s rights were violated when the officers unlawfully recorded him “during said traffic stop without Plaintiff’s knowledge, authorization, or consent.” Vincent also alleges that the arresting officers “illegally influenced a judicial officer by conspiring to initiate and maintain an unfounded Internal Affairs investigation.”
Aspuru and Saud had pulled Vincent over once before the recent incident, but a judge dismissed this charges, sources say. It is not clear why he was pulled over in that instance or if Aspuru or Saud ever made any comment of gave any indication that they were against homosexuality.
In this latest arrest, Vincent was driving a scooter outside of his home in Southwest Ranches when Aspuru and Saud pulled him over for speeding. During the traffic stop, Aspuru allegedly recorded Vincent with a camera on his cellphone. In the recording, Vincent can reportedly be heard expressing fear for his life. Vincent demanded that the two officers keep away from him until another officer, identified as Wallace, arrived. It appears as though the officers complied, and Vincent was not physically harmed during the arrest.
When Wallace arrived, the officers handed Vincent a fine. The sheriff’s office later started an internal investigation into Vincent’s behavior and suspended him from his job at the department. Vincent contested his getting pulled over as well as his arrest; he reportedly submitted evidence that showed his scooter could not mechanically go as fast as he was accused of going in the arrest report, sources say.
At some point Vincent discovered the video of his arrest and handed a copy of it over to a third party contractor with the sheriff’s department. He later stated that he leaked the video because he felt his life was in danger. However, after a review by the department’s internal investigation unit, the police department fired Vincent.