federal jury on Friday convicted Boynton Beach Police Sergeant Philip
Antico for obstruction of justice during a federal investigation into
the excessive use of force by officers after an August 2014 traffic
stop, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore of the
Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Acting U.S. Attorney
Benjamin G. Greenberg of the Southern District of Florida. Last week a
federal jury convicted Officer Michael Brown of using excessive force
and using a firearm during a crime of violence for repeatedly striking
an arrestee multiple times while holding his firearm after that traffic
Evidence presented at both trials
established that after Brown used excessive force, he wrote a report
omitting that he had kicked the arrestee and struck the arrestee while
holding a gun in his hand. At trial, the government presented evidence
that Brown’s report changed significantly over the course of a week. In
February 2015, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation began a
criminal investigation into the officers’ use of force, Antico, Brown’s
supervisor, misled a federal agent who was conducting the investigation.
Specifically, Antico falsely claimed that Brown’s report of the arrest
and his use of force never changed, when in fact Antico approved the
report knowing that Brown had made material changes to his report about
his use of force after a video recording of the arrest came to light.
"Police officers must abide by the
laws they enforce and protect the constitutional rights of all persons,”
said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gore. “The department will
continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s laws that ensure the civil
rights of all persons are protected.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the
Department of Justice and the FBI stand committed to holding those who
betray the public trust accountable for their actions, while supporting
the men and women who proudly uphold their duties to serve and protect
the community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Greenberg.
Brown faces a maximum penalty of up to 10
years imprisonment for the civil rights violation and 5 years
imprisonment for his use of a firearm in the commission of that crime.
Antico faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment.
Sentencing will be set at a later date before U.S. District Judge Robin
L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida.
The case was investigated by the West Palm
Beach Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is
being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Osborne of the
Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the
Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.