A Hollywood Police officer accused of striking a handcuffed suspect was found not guilty of misdemeanor battery by a jury last week. But 7 Investigates has found there is an ongoing civil case against that officer over another rough arrest caught on camera. 7 Investigates Karen Hensel has the exclusive story.
This is home security video of Officer Matthew Barbieri in March of 2017, obtained exclusively by 7 Investigates.
Gary Jeffries, Hollywood Resident: “Barbieri grabs the door, whips it open, reaches and grabs me by the wrist and dragged me outside and body slams me right on the ground, right down as hard as he could. And then he jumps on top of me and puts his knee right in my back and my lumbar and the other knee and my neck choking me. And I’m screaming in pain. And I’m saying, I’ve had back surgery and neck surgery. “
Sixty-nine-year-old Gary Jeffries showed us the X-rays of plates and screws from a previous injury.
Gary Jeffries: “That’s the plate that’s in my back where his knee was, right here crushing.”
Jeffries says that day, he got into a fender bender.
Gary Jeffries: “I said, well, I just live eight houses down. Let me go get my checkbook, and I’ll pay to repair the car.”
Moments later, Hollywood Police Officer Matthew Barbieri and a female officer showed up.
Six home security cameras and Jeffries’ friend witnessed their arrival.
Gary Jeffries: “I heard banging on the window. Doorbell didn’t ring or anything.”
His dogs, an 11-pound Jack Russell terrier and a Labrador, started barking.
In a sworn deposition, the friend, Tom Brady, testified that Officer Barbieri “…said something about shooting the dogs…” so Brady went in and put them in the backyard.
Gary Jeffries: “Anybody that’s going to kick down your door and shoot a dog, you don’t know what’s in their frame of mind, so I was scared to death.”
Moments later, Barbieri grabbed Jeffries through the front door.
Jeffries contacted 7 Investigates after seeing the following story on 7News.
Barbieri was acquitted just last week of misdemeanor battery. He was charged after being caught on camera slapping a handcuffed suspect.
Jeffries says in his case, not only was he mistreated, but the officers lied about what happened.
In the police report, the officer wrote “… he shortly thereafter came outside …”
Gary Jeffries: “It’s a total lie. The video proves that I did not do that.”
Video also shows him handcuffed, then taken to the sidewalk, where a camera view is not as clear.
Gary Jeffries: “He parks me out there on my butt. I lay down on my back, and he goes, sit up, [expletive language]. And I said, I can’t sit up at a 90 degree angle. It hurts. And he started kicking my feet and kicking my legs.”
His friend witnessed the kicks, saying in his deposition, Jeffries was “moaning … almost crying …”
Jeffries says when they got him up to put him in the police car, he was roughed up again.
Gary Jeffries: “He goes to push me, and right at the last second gives me a good jab right in the belly. He slams my face right into the car and knocked out all my top upper and lower, except my two front teeth.”
His teeth in this baggy are now evidence in a lawsuit, which claims the officer “illegally entered” Gary’s home …” and prepared “… a false, untruthful and fraudulent …” police report.
Including this statement that Jeffries was “…under the influence,” yet he says he never took a breathalyzer or blood test when they took him to the hospital for his injuries.
Greg Durden, attorney: “He has no priors at all. He’s a model citizen, and if this can happen to somebody like Gary, it can happen to anybody.”
Jeffries was arrested for hit-and-run DUI.
The charges were later dismissed.
He gave Hollywood Police a copy of the video but was told…
Gary Jeffries: “We did not find anything wrong in the arrest.”
Gary says it has taken a physical and emotional toll, and he is worse off now than he was before the arrest.
Hollywood Police declined to comment on this lawsuit.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
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