Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Faces Battery Charge

A Fort Lauderdale police officer is facing a criminal charge for pushing a kneeling woman to the ground during a May 31 civil rights protest in the city, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz announced on Tuesday.

Officer Steven Pohorence, 29, is charged with battery for “intentionally touching or striking” the 19-year-old woman by “pushing [the victim] to the ground,” according to court records. Prosecutors filed the information, also known as a charging document, in Broward County Court on Tuesday following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The battery charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail. The decision to file a misdemeanor charge was made after reviewing the victim’s medical records to see if her injury fell under the legal requirements for a misdemeanor or felony charge.

The officer’s initial appearance date in Broward County Court has not yet been scheduled.

Videos of other incidents of use of force by the officer that have been referred to investigators by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department are still under review.

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