By on August 22, 2012

A Florida cop was fired and arrested after brutalizing a woman in front of his own dash cam. A routine review of dash cam video revealed that he brutally slammed a woman into her car.

Geraci had responded to a hit-and-run. In the video, Pensacola Police Officer Christopher Geraci is seen smashing 29-year-old Abbi Bonds into the side of her car, causing her to drop to her knees and hit her chin.

According to ABC News, Bonds suffered a swollen knee, a hurt jaw and a possible concussion. Speaking to ABC News, she said, “He just totally lost control as a police officer and beat the crap out of me using way beyond excessive force.”

Bond did not file charges, but a supervisor reviewed the dash cam footage. The cop was fired last Friday and charged with battery. He was taken to jail, but was later released on his own recognizance.

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73 Comments on “Florida Cop Arrested For Beating Up Woman...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    I would have been willing to bet money that his only punishment would have been 2 weeks of desk duty. Congratulations for doing the right thing.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    The only thing I can possibly think about this is, people in general are less civil, especially when under stress. Women seem to be far more aggressive and profane, too, than in years past.

    The officer – I’m not excusing him, as a man should never hit a woman – could have been vebally assaulted/disrespected/spit upon/physically assaulted and lost his temper. Until all the details are known – if ever, we’ll never know. Dash cameras only tell a very small part of the story.

    OR – the officer could be one of those guys who’s on a power trip, hiding behind his badge and thinks he’s king of the world, too.

    I can only imagine if the woman were black, hispanic or some other minority…same for the officer.

    EDIT to address replies below:

    I forgot to mention striking back in self-defense. Of course he/no one should just “take it”, as it were, but to use a REASONABLE amount of force to address the situation. I thought that would have been understood.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      I’m not excusing him, as a man should never hit a woman

      So a woman starts slapping/punching/kicking/biting a man, and he should just try to flee and not defend himself?

      How about “people shouldn’t attack people, except in self-defense”?

      (nothing to do with this particular incident, but this idea that a man should just stand there and take physical abuse from a woman without defending himself is insulting.)

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Agreed.

        It is ancient dogma. Which isn’t an excuse for domestic violence (which this isn’t). Any person, regardless of gender, has a right to defend themselves. However I strongly believe a MAN (capitals on purpose) would never hit a woman first, and would never hit a woman unprovoked. Further, I believe that a MAN would never escalate, but would only resort to self-defense, restraint, and only when met with the real chance of egregious injury or death, take strong action.

        But then again, I believe that regardless of the genders involved.

        This cop, to get back on topic, WAY WAY WAY out of line. What is concerning to me is this is what happened in plain view of a camera, and he turned in the tape. What the heck has happened out of view???

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        +1 Agreed Dr.N and HypnoToad.

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        Right. Woman, man, it makes no difference. If someone is assaulting you, you assault them right back until they stop. But, you should use only necessary force. Ne need to react to a face slap with a cage-match-style beat down.

      • 0 avatar
        Sgt Beavis

        I wasn’t taught to never hit a woman. I was taught that you never hit a LADY. A lady and a woman are not one in the same.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      How do dash cams only tell a small part of the story? They record the whole traffic stop, no?

      I can understand concern that maybe the footage was edited for purposes of dramatizing the news, but consider that Bonds did not file a complaint and this was exposed in internal review.

      Police generally stick up for each other; however, this guy was fired and arrested, without a public complaint forcing the issue. That tells me that what we see in the video pretty much sums up the incident. It also tells me that Geraci probably has few friends on the force.

  • avatar
    levi

    The local PD made an excellent call.

    That man does not need to be in that position.

    • 0 avatar
      PaulVincent

      And he should never be employed as a law enforcement officer again (either that or he only gets to carry a squirt gun).

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Kudos to the police force for reviewing the footage and taking the correct action. WAY too often do you hear of no charges, or ridiculously light treatment of the cop.

      The cynic in me wonders if the cop in question wasn’t well liked on the force… If he was “one of the guys” would he have received the same treatment?

  • avatar
    slow_poke

    man… one of the reasons i stopped reading Jalopnik (only one of many) is that they started to have posts that seems quite unrelated to cars. aside from the words ‘dash cam’ i don’t see much of a car reference here.

    p.s. i’m glad the dude got fired. abhorrent behavior.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Actually, it is quite related to cars. If you drive, you are potentially at risk. While this is a more extreme case, I think we all know of people who were treated like dirt, cursed at, had their car and or possessions confiscated, damaged or illegally searched. Most cops don’t do this, but too many do and far too many turn the other way.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Good call by the local Police Department. It’s a shame that the RCMP and other municipal Police forces up here in Canada don’t have the same standards. It seems that the only thing that will get you fired is insulting a superior. Beating of civvies or sexually harassing co-workers appears to be perfectly acceptable behaviour.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      You mean I grew up believing Sgt. Preston of the Yukon was a good guy? Perhaps I was thinking of King, his dog…Man, that hurts…

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Yes, but it is changing. The RCMP is one of the least progressive of Canada’s institutions, and one of the most “guarded” (and if you know anything of the military, RCMP, etc up here, that’s saying something). I have close relatives who are members and while it may be happening at a glacier’s pace, they say some internal reforms are coming.

      It’s good that some of the accusations are now public, with hopefully more to come. The more public scrutiny and outrage, hopefully the quicker things will change for the better.

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        Having moved from the UK where Police transgressions are looked over by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (and are usually dealt with swiftly and fairly), I’ve been shocked by the lack of transparency and the blatantly obvious cronyism that exists within the RCMP and other Police forces. Police investigating the Police never, ever works; even if it is another department investigating.
        Take that scumbag Monty Robinson for example. He assists in tazering a man to death at YVR (nothing happened), then a year later he runs over and kills a motorcyclist whilst drunk and what does he get? Booted off the force, but only an 11 month suspended sentence? Really? I won’t even go into the fact that the judge mentioned he shouldn’t be jailed because of his first nations heritage. Whatever happened to ‘we are all equal under the eyes of the law’???
        Or the VPD officer who violently shoves over a physically disabled lady in Downtown Vancouver for no reason what so ever. What’s happened to him? Two week suspension.
        Then there’s the Sgt who sexually harassed numerous female co-workers… what happened to him? Transferred.
        There are plenty of other documented examples of the Police in BC misbehaving and again, nothing really happens.
        I’m not saying that every cop is like this. I’m just saying that when stuff like this does happen, I don’t understand the mentality of the RCMP and other forces when they do little to nothing to deal with the offenders. All it does is undermine public confidence and the credibility of the Police.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

    Sorry that had nothing to do with this post just like this post has nothing to do with The Truth About Cars.

    -1 TTAC

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Moriarty: “crap…”

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      But it does get clicks & page views, and therefore: revenue.

      Follow the money.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Right, so by your logic TTAC could post something unrelated like say about Mittens dog riding on the top of the car. Thus allowing for trolls and flamers from both sides to go at it ubermenst, completely missing the mission statement of TTAC, but that’s okay, because money makes everything okay.

        If this is the case, then why bother talking about cars at all?

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        @dolorean:

        I think you misunderstood my intent. I’m not saying it’s okay, I’m just saying that the powers-that-be at TTAC have incentive to post stuff to get people’s lather up: money.

        TTAC (AKA VerticalScope Inc.) is no different than any other commercial operation. For all the mission statements, and general bravado about giving us the “straight dope” on cars, in the end they’re doing it for money.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    The most significant aspect to this is that the woman involved didn’t file charges, this incident of police brutality was uncovered because the department reviewed the dash cam footage (either a routine audit or maybe they were looking into this officer’s behavior specifically).

    It’s nice to know there’s some quality control in that PD.

  • avatar
    keet

    what is never made clear is, the article says he had responded to a hit-and-run, was she the one who did the hit-and-run??? if so, i would have much rather had them bring in a woman officer to beat the snot out of her.

  • avatar

    One reason I’d never want to be a cop in the youtube age. Every action I’d make would be armchair quarterbacked.

    The other reason: I’m trigger happy.

    • 0 avatar

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Armchair quarterback? I don’t think so. There is only one way to interpret what happened in that video, and no way to justify it.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Don’t worry, some states has made wire tapping laws so broad reaching that filming a police officer beating the crap out of somebody constitutes an offence if you don’t get prior consent from the cop or are working for an established media outlet. So basically you could be a trigger happy cop in one of those states provided that you newer consent to being filmed and newer do your beatings outside the local TV-station.

      • 0 avatar

        SERIOUSLY

        Did anyone see how the people were shouting at the NYC cop that shot the pitbull?

        What was the cop supposed to do? Let it chew his arm off?

        I had to tell someone to control their dog because I warned them, if it attacked me, I was going to use my weight on it’s neck to snap it’s vertebrae. The cop did the right thing yet I bet 100% of the crowd woulda tried to take his job.

        The cop in this video gave her commands and she didn’t follow them. PERIOD.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @bigtruckseriesreview @ Youtube

        Oh my. I forgot the part in the US constitution where it says, “Due process is nice and all, but if a cop tells you something you’ll have to do it or he is obliged to go bat-shit-crazy on your ass!” I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who where insisting on the passage but that Adams wanted the hyphenation and exclamation point. Adams demand probably stemmed from his grudge against people viewing Jefferson as the party guy in the duo, when he was obviously the best dog-killing-ninja-fabulist of the two, and, this being a little known fact, owned a Mercedes S-class.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        MeaCulpa, I believe I busted my pantaloons and dropped my powdered wig LMAO on that. +1

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    I just Googled this story and found some more detailed info at the Huffington Post.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/christopher-geraci-fired-pensacola-police-excessive-force-abbi-bonds_n_1818358.html

    Ms. Bonds was the suspected hit and run driver, she failed a series of field sobriety tests, and she would not comply with the officer’s verbal command to get back in her car. Beyond her non-compliance it appears she did not offer any physical resistance.

    Ms. Bonds was charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

  • avatar

    Every time I hear “serve and protect” I think “tar and feathers”.

  • avatar
    4-off-the-floor

    This is beyond the pale, I tell you!

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I knew that high belt line/rear haunches on those Camaros were a bad idea.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    Australia’s Queensland Police are much in that they investigate themselves ,and following the savage killing of one man in a cell a senior seargent was punished by sending him to a beach suburb police station. At the same station a cam is used to monitor activities ,and on seized footage a father is seen at the front desk enquiring about his son who had been picked up for being drunk in public. An officer was filmed coming around the desk and beating the father to the floor . No excuse was offered for the assualt, the father cannot be seen to be saying anything that would have upset the copper and the police exhonerated the officer involved.
    Once people realize that although crims are crims ,but, once in custody it is not the police job to punish people then we will see the end of this brainless behavior.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    OK, so she was the H&R suspect. She is suspected DUI. She didn’t follow instructions. I’m still waiting to hear a justification for the cop to physically abuse her.

    This criminal in blue is not only to unstable & sadistic for law enforcement, he’s also too G-D stupid if he (fortunately for the public) commits his crimes in view of his own dash-cam.

    Congratulations, Florida taxpayers, you get to make another of your own a millionaire courtesy of a fat settlement she’ll undoubtedly receive. Think the state attorney wants to take this to a jury? When these kind of payouts have to be made, the money should come straight out of the police pension fund with no taxpayer assistance. Maybe then they’ll start doing a better job policing their own.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    The cop was way out of line. Suspected H&R and DUI. Yeah, she’ll win her lawsuit. A million dollars and Camaro? Sounds like the chorus to a country song or a reality TV show.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    solly this dude forgotten his cruiser does have a cam, then why didnt he shoot the cam /make it disappear failing that he could have called david copperfield since dave can make a jumbo jet disappear!

    or these cameras were enclosed inside a fort knox type of strong box, nobody could tamper with it, or send data back in real time to the choirboyz HQ.

    next time beat anybody out side of the cam’s angle!

  • avatar
    jsal56

    Bloomberg (who I can not stand and I live in NYC) mentioned after the CO shooting that all police should go on strike until guns are curbed in the US. He is right but for the wrong reason, if the cops in this country went on strike Americans would see how well we get along without them.

    We live in a police state, Homeland Security (I cant stand Bush for putting this in is another example-feel safe with them around?)

    I am for law and order but cops are crossing over into paramilitary.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I usually side with the victims in these types of cases but it is tough to tell exactly how much force he put into the shove from the dark, grainy video. If he was attempting to corral and cuff her and she stumbled in a drunken stupor or took a dive then justice has not been served.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Sorry to disappoint the cop-bashing masses, but the video does not indicate that the officer “slammed her repeatedly” into the car. It indicates that he pulled her arm once, in an apparent effort to control a person whose previous behaviour is not revealed in the report. The video also indicates a lot of cutting and splicing for maximum dramatic effect.

    TTAC can do better than this.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    For those of you who do not deal with the police on a regular basis, here is some info. To the police there are only three types of people. There are police, perps and victims. And the only one the police respect is the police. When the police are not sure if you are a perp or a victim, they treat you like a perp. I lived in Mobile, Alabama, about fifty miles from Pensacola, and I always thought the Pensacola police were better than the Mobile police. In the past few years in Mobile, there have been a number of innocent people shot and killed by the Mobile police. All were judged to be tragic accidents. No cops went to jail, even when it was absolutely clear that there was no justification for the shooting. The families received large amounts of compensation, but nothing replaces a son or husband. My dealings with the police were social, not business. My brother in law was a Mobile cop, and I had a number of friends on the force. Most cops are OK, but the percentage of bad ones is higher than you would think.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      This is not “info”. It is an assumption on your part about what other human beings think, based on the colour of the clothes they wear.

      I happen to be related to several police officers, and while they are undoubtedly hardened by their years of experience they are also open-minded individuals who do their best under circumstances that frequently and unpredictably turn into life-threatening nightmares.

      We do agree that most cops are OK, however the percentage of “bad” cops is highly subjective and therefore not something on which either one of us is qualified to speak.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        Don, this is not based on what I think about the police. I said my brother in law was an officer. Some years back my brother in law shot and killed an unarmed fifteen year old. The fifteen year old was in a building, burglarizing it. My brother in law was cleared of wrong doing by the department. That was later. Please forgive my language here, but I am quoting the officers involved. After the shooting and the initial questioning by his superiors, my brother in law was taken to the police club and they had a “We killed a nigger party”.

        My brother in law did not cope too well with having killed someone. He eventually left the force and today is a bail bondsman.

        People in the rest of the country might not know it, but the police in the south have been able to get away with almost anything for years. Most of the killed are black, most of the police are white, and the majority white population of the southern states see nothing wrong with killing the “thugs” that menace us all.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Charliej,

      Coming from Canada I can’t comment on the racial issue, which seems to be your real beef. But from the sound of it your brother-in-law is a decent human being who probably represents a “real” cop more than some commentators here want to believe.

      Don

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    From a professional point of view, this situation went south because he tried for too long to be delicate.There was an awful lot of tactical fail, both before and after the edited clip being shown in the news report.

    There’s a longer (2:30) version of the video than the sensationalistically edited 30 seconds shown in this thread. The officer’s tactics sucked. In the longer version, he leaves her unattended in the door for about 45 seconds. When he finally approaches her with the intent to arrest her, he ends up “dancing” with her for about 15 seconds before she eats the fender. The first few seconds of the “dance,” he attempts to do what appears to be a half- assed search while holding onto her with one hand instead of getting her cuffed as quickly as possible. Even after she eats the fender, he still dances with her, which makes the fender deal seem worse, because he ends up pushing her into the car another couple of times.

    he finally gets her cuffed, in the longer version, he walks her to the front of his ar and lectures her for awhile before leaving her unsecured and standing alone by the side of the road while he goes back to search or scure the Camaro. The longer version of the video that I have seen ends there, so I don’t know how long she was unattended where she could have darted into traffic or something. I would suspect, from a managerial point of view, that the failure to properly secure her is the bigger problem and the reason for firing him.

    The bottom line, from my perspective, is that his failure to properly gain control of the suspect upon first contact with her led to the use of more force than would have been required had he been decisive earlier.

    Not that the civilian armchair quarterbacks of TTAC care.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for the insider info, but the parting shot at the end was not necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      I just watched the unedited, 2:30 version of this video on YouTube. At 52 seconds the officer clearly slams the suspect into her vehicle. After getting her back to his car he proceeds to lecture her on following instructions.

      It looks like Ms. Bonds got roughed up for Contempt of Cop. She did not comply with the officer’s command, he took this personally, and responded with excessive force.

    • 0 avatar

      “Not that the civilian armchair quarterbacks of TTAC care.”

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      Who will watch the watchers if not their employers? What you call “armchair quarterbacks”, people who want to live in a civil society and aren’t real keen on authoritarianism call citizen oversight of law enforcement.

      “Civilian”? Are you in the armed forces? The increasing militarization of America’s police forces is rather disturbing. I don’t want our police to think of themselves as anything close to the military. Besides violating the Posse Comitatus Act, there’s the mindset thing of acting like an occupying army.

      My old shrink was not just an MD. He also had a law degree from NYU and was an expert witness and special master. He told me that many cops have the mentality of prison guards, reacting to any threat to their authority as potentially life threatening.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        Dukeboys post shows what I mean about how the police look at outsiders, that is non-police. All of you should remember, in any interaction with the police, your life is in danger. If the officer decides that you are not subservient enough, he may lose control and kill you. Look at reports of this type of situation and you will see that it is not rare for the “civilian” to wind up dead. Calling it a tragic accident does not help.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        “He told me that many cops have the mentality of prison guards, reacting to any threat to their authority as potentially life threatening.”

        That’s because every challenge to their authority IS potentially life threatening.

        No offence to your old shrink and his many degrees, Ronnie, but his comments strike me as armchair quarterbackism from somebody who has never walked a mile in the other guy’s shoes. Having spent many hours riding along with cops, I am amazed at how cool they are in situations where I would have put a bullet through somebody.

        For what it’s worth, I should mention that I live in Canada which seems to make a difference in these discussions.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        @Ronnie:

        A lot of cops post 9/11/01 ARE ex-military, a lot of times are ex-Military Police, and have been trained (brainwashed?) as such.

        The militarization of the police is a huge concern, and in a lot of other countries even bringing that up would result in a bunch of off duty cops breaking into your home and destroying it.

        ‘Besides violating the Posse Comitatus Act, there’s the mindset thing of acting like an occupying army.’ An interesting argument, however one I won’t believe until there are Humvees, MPs and checkpoints on Main Street, USA ala the movie Outbreak (notwithstanding the charges by US Senator Rand Paul a couple of years ago about US TSA agents in Tennessee pulling over random vehicles on interstates to ‘look for mobile bombs’-BULLSHIT.)

        Hence why the Second Amendment to the US Constitution exists. Just sayin’….:)

      • 0 avatar
        Dukeboy01

        You’re so easy, Ronnie. I threw the “civilian” comment out there just for you.

        And in this case, the officer’s employers are the ones who handled it, without a complaint from the victim. It appears that the system, such as it is, worked.

        So, what exactly, is your point?

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        I once had a neighbor who was an MP in the Army and he always refered to city, county and state law enforcement as the “civilian police”.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Most of the time, i’d give the cop the benefit of the doubt. This is not one of those times. EXCEPT…
    Cops are often times not respected in most parts of the US, some equate the profession to working at a fast-food joint. They are overworked, severely underpaid, subjected to abuse and scrutiny by the public, lawyers, and the media on a regular basis. Not an excuse for this behavior, but a likely reason.

    I’m willing to wager there’s a bit of class envy in play here, too (not many beat cops i’ve met can afford a new Camaro for example)…

    In Minnesota where I live (one of only two or three US states if memory serves), it is state law for peace officers to have a two year bachelors in law enforcement, which usually includes some sort of psyche or public speaking minor. Such a skill seemed important to lawmakers at the time, and as a result, more often than not cops in such states are most of the time very highly educated (AND DON’T BEAT PEOPLE FOR NO REASON).

    Almost every other state (and correct me if i’m wrong) does not have this requirement, and I believe Florida is one of them.

    Word to the wise, and iv’e been told this many a time by cops, respect them, they will (usually) respect you, especially if you know you haven’t committed a crime (over legislation and oppressive laws aside, i’ll save that for another discussion). This woman didn’t deserve to be beaten, but probably mouthed off to said cop to initiate his flipping out. -WE DON’T KNOW THAT!-, but just a thought.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The job does attract less level headed, well adjusted, intelligent and non A$$ H0LES types.

    If he conducted himself this way knowing the camera was ‘rolling’ and would be reviewed later, he’s either stupid or can’t imagine he did anything wrong.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    why is this even in ttac?

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Several years ago I did a ride along for two shifts with the Jacksonville Sheriffs Department. Among the many things I learned is, I couldn’t be a cop. I don’t have the temperament. Really, I was amazed they didn’t go full Rodney King every day.
    Most cities offer a similar program. I highly recommend it. You may not come away loving the police, but you will have a better understanding of why situations like this happen.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    @Geekcarlover – +1

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