Police Abuse

Sarasota Cop, Bus Depot Security Guard Testify in Trial of Homeless Man Slammed into Metal Wall

A world of compliance


why are you injuring yourself?

The ACLU says authorities in Sarasota, Florida are trying to harass the homeless out of town, based on a number of prominent incidents in the last few months, and the revelation that a pair of cops called each other "bum hunters." The trial of a homeless man, Roger Fields, at the center of one of those incidents, caught on video (below), began today. It featured testimony from the private security guard at the bus depot where Fields was arrested and the cop seen on video appearing to slam him face-first into a metal wall.

First, the guard's testimony, via the Herald Tribune:

In court today, [Robert] Sauder  said, "He up and just spits in my face. Luckily I was wearing my sunglasses so I didn't get any in my eyes."

Sauder described Fields' demeanor as "very agitated, didn't want to listen and smelled of alcohol."

The 6-foot 4-inch, 290-pound security guard said he felt threatened by the 5-foot 8-inch, 143-pound Fields and forced Fields to the ground with a leg sweep. Sauder sat on top of him until police arrived, when Gilbert helped him up.

And the cop's:

Fields sat on a bench throughout most of his encounter with police, until [Officer Derrick] Gilbert walked behind him, withdrew his handcuffs and attempted to place them on the homeless man. Grabbing Fields by the arm, Gilbert quickly swung him face-first into the metal ticket booth, the video shows.

Gilbert testified that Fields "separated himself from me," during the handcuffing.

"He pulled back. I had a grab of his wrist and elbow. He had blood on him. I didn't want blood on me. As soon as he didn't comply, my job was to put him to the ground," Gilbert said. "Grabbing his right wrist and elbow, I tried to put him on the ground. He stands up and staggers and ends up hitting the ticket booth, injuring himself."

Watch the homeless man injure himself, as the cop, on paid leave while internal affairs investigates, testified:

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  1. as far as leg sweeps go, that was gentle and controlled. and that was after he appears to have spit in his face.

    1. Yeah I can see being forced to the ground and pinned down by 290lbs as a reasonable response to some flying saliva.

      1. His head jerks toward the guy at :14. That looked like more than a random gleak. And he didn’t splay his hips into the guy nor sit on his sternum. He’s in mount and pinning his hands to his chest. I give the 290lb security guard a medal for restraint.

        1. Getting spit on doesn’t justify forcing the spitter to the ground and pinning him.

          1. Feels like a physical violation to me. Maybe I’m sensitive. What if you fling semen, poop, or blood on them?

            1. Yeah but he didn’t. It was spit. Water. It falls from the sky every so often. It even falls from that tube coming out your bathroom wall. Do you try to kick the shit out of your showerhead when it spits on you?

              1. He didn’t kick the shit out of him. It wasn’t even a hard takedown.

                And mostly I just wonder why there’s a semi-circle of my wife’s size 7 footprints on the tile wall below the detachable showerhead.

  2. the cop seen on video appearing to slam him face-first into a metal wall

    Why the weasel word? Is it pretty apparent (snerk) that the cop in fact slammed him into the wall? Face-first?

  3. In P Brooks -topia, self-defense (up to and including lethal force) would be a valid courtroom defense if the aggressor was a member of the baboon army of occupation.

    And this:

    As soon as he didn’t comply, my job was to put him to the ground,” would land the cop right in the fucking slammer.

  4. He didn’t kick the shit out of him.

    Well then, by all means, the noble peace officer deserves a commendation!

    1. It was the rent-a-cop that pretended he was from Cobra Kai and swept the leg. The heroic peace officer is the one that stood helplessly by while the crazed criminal (who would be on the streets with YOUR FAMILY if he’s not imprisoned!!!!) smashed himself into a metal ticket booth.

  5. Is the ACLU engaging in “pro-civil rights hysteria”?

  6. Social Cleansing is alive and well in the united states

  7. Given the video, it’s not an entirely ridiculous story, but I’m not buying it.

    I see it as remotely possible that the guy got up and tried to run away, but the cop’s grasp on him acted as an anchor and he ended up rotating around instead.

    After reading Radley Balko for any length of time, it’s hard to give the coppers the benefit of the doubt.

  8. And they wonder why so many rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty!


  9. After watching the video, I have to say I buy the cop’s story. The cop had hold of Mr. Field’s wrist and elbow, and just wouldn’t have the leverage to swing him around like that and slam him into the wall.

    As far as spitting on someone, well spit isn’t just water. I really don’t think Mr. Hugh Akston would appreciate it if I spit on him, but I could be wrong.

  10. Although video is great it can at times leave out a lot of imprtant facts. What events took place prior to the subject getting into the view of the camera? What was said? Is the subject a regular with a violent past?

    If the subject did in fact spit in the Security Officers face it would be considered battery on a uniformed officer according to Florida Statute 784.07 and the Security Officer would be justified in his actions.


    As far as the actions of the police officer(s), as soon as the subject pulled away he refused to comply. We must remember that these men and women in uniform deal with societies worst on a daily basis. They must follow protocol. We can clearly see that the subject refused to comply.

  11. To be a perfect Security Guard you must need excellent memory skills. In security profession every security officer faces the lots of unmanageable circumstances and many times will only have a few seconds to make a decision.So only creative mind security guards can able to take decision and those such Guards are given to us by Security Guards in Kent

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