Titusville Police exonerate detective who allegedly punched handcuffed suspect

By Erin Murray, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2018, 10:44 PM EST

Titusville police exonerated a detective of excessive force allegations after an arrest video went viral on Facebook.

  • Titusville PD exonerates detective accused of excessive force
  • Video shows detective allegedly punching handcuffed suspect
  • Chief Lau said Bernd feared suspect had gun 

The arrest happened in December. The video shows Detective Josh Bernd punching suspect Amari Hair while he is handcuffed on the ground.

An internal investigation was launched after the arrest.

Police compared the police dash cam video and the cell phone video.

Chief John Lau pointed to parts where the suspect reached for his waist band while being handcuffed. It was that action that Lau said caused the detectives to fear Hair may have had a gun.

“With the violent behavior known to them by Hair, his habitual resisting arrests, not allowing for putdowns, and weapons,” Lau said. “And he has escaped on one occasion. The officers truly feared that he had a weapon.”

No word yet on when Bernd will return to duty.