Video shows officer punching drunk man in face


by staff

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 6:06 PM

An Orlando police officer was reprimanded for punching an intoxicated man. The incident last August was caught on camera -- and the video has just been released.

The video shows Tommie Gotto with officers patrolling the downtown Orlando area.

According to the internal affairs report, he was heavily intoxicated last August and was upset, because he lost his wallet in a bar.

And when a detective couldn’t find it, Officer Douglas Cote was face-to-face with Gotto, when Gotto spit in his face.

The officer punched him and Gotto was handcuffed. According to the internal investigation, the punch was more than allowed because “spitting in the face is not an action expected to cause injury,” and, “officer Cote could have effectively controlled Gotto by using a lesser degree of force, such as pushing him away.”

In the report, “officer Cote admitted to violating OPD policy.”

Despite the finding, the board felt the officer kept his head.

"But when the young man spat in his face, the reflex action was to strike. One single strike to the face was a control takedown. The video shows the officers not going overboard," an official said.

But the closed fist was a violation and got the officer written up.


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