Before he became the poster child for mandatory steroid testing for cops, Christopher Pullease was commemorated by his chief for all the participation awards he had won over a two-decade career at the Sunrise Police Department in South Florida.
“He’s a seven-time recipient of the ‘officer of the month’ award, he’s received four outstanding unit awards and he’s received in excess of more than 40 department commendation letters,” said Sunrise Police Chief Anthony Rosa in a ceremony that took place in December 2020 and posted to YouTube that same month.
“And I’m proud to be promoting Chris Pullease to the rank of sergeant.”
But Chief Rosa has been singing a different tune ever since Pullease, 46, was exposed on body camera earlier this year placing his hands on the throat of a female cop who was trying to keep him from pepper spraying a handcuffed man who had been arrested for assault.
“I find this behavior to be disgusting,” he told WSVN. “I think the video speaks for itself.
“I find it to be inappropriate and unprofessional, because what he did is he escalated the situation when calm was actually required.”
The chief’s comments, of course, enraged the police union for daring to hold cops accountable.
“We are extremely displeased with Chief Rosa’s unprofessional conduct during this investigation,” Union President Steve Negron wrote in a letter to the Sunrise City Commission and city manager, according to WSVN.
Meanwhile, Pullease remains on paid administrative leave as internal affairs conducts its “investigation” which is now in the uncomfortable position of deciding which cop to protect; the younger, female cop following state law and departmental policy or the older male veteran cop taking the law into his own hands.
Let’s not be surprised if they decide the female cop was “obstructing” an investigation when she ran up to Pullease from behind as he was threatening to pepper spray the handcuffed man and pulling him backwards in an attempt to prevent him from doing that.
However, the female cop who is 28 years old and has been on the force less than three years was abiding by a new state law called “duty to intervene” that went into effect on October 1, 2021, less than three months before the incident.
An act relating to the excessive use of force by law
enforcement officers; requiring a law enforcement
officer to intervene when another officer is using or
attempting to use excessive force under certain
circumstances; providing criminal penalties; requiring
a law enforcement officer to render aid to a victim of
excessive force under certain circumstances; requiring
a law enforcement officer to report the use of
excessive force by another officer; providing
penalties; requiring a law enforcement officer to
report the commission of a criminal offense by another
officer while on duty; providing criminal penalties;
providing an effective date.
Chief Rosa says the female cop was also abiding by a departmental policy that requires officers to intervene in cases of police abuse but the union president says have received “no training” in how to handle such a situation.
The incident took place on November 19, 2021 as Sunrise police were arresting a man named Jean Similien who was accused of assaulting people at a local business.
The videos show the cops were having trouble trying to get him into the backseat of the car when Pullease pulled up.
However, the man who was already handcuffed agrees to get into the car just as Pullease walks up.
“Alright, I’m getting in,” he says as he places his legs inside the car.
But Pullease already has his pepper spray canister in his hand.
“Watch out, motherf*cker!” he says as he leans his body into the backseat of the car.
“Hey, look at me! Look at me! Look at me! You want to play f*cking games? You’re playing with the wrong motherf*cker!”
“Do what you got to do, man,” responds Similien. “You gonna mace me? Mace me.”
“Look at me, motherf*cker. You wanna play fucking games? You wanna be disrespectful with my fucking officers?
“I will remove your fucking soul from your fucking body!”
“Do what you gotta do,” responds Similien as the female cop runs up behind Pullease and pulls him back.
“What the f*ck? Don’t ever fucking touch me again! Get the fuck off me!” Pullease yells at the female cop while shoving her backwards with his hands on her throat.
A few moments later, he orders all the cops at the scene to turn their cameras off which would probably a more accurate example of obstructing an investigation.
The incident was kept under wraps for two months until local media began asking questions after receiving a tip. That led to police releasing the video without audio. Last week they released the video with audio.
In a normal world where cops are expected to follow the same laws as the rest of us, Pullease would be facing felony charges of battery on a police officer but veteran cops like him have long learned the laws do not necessarily apply to them.
Broward County’s public defender Gordon Weekes wrote a letter to Chief Rosa in January stating that his office has more than 400 pending cases of people arrested for felony battery on a police officer, according to local media.
“And those individuals are not given the same bit of patience. They’re not given the same bit of deference. They’re not scrutinized with respect to whether the facts support the charge or not. If any one of us would have engaged in that type of conduct, we would have been arrested immediately on site.”
James Madison Audits on YouTube who had been requesting the video for months was kind enough to send us the unedited footage which we compiled in a video below. Watch his analysis of the incident here.