BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: USDOJ) — A federal grand jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, returned a six-count indictment yesterday charging Boynton Beach Police Officer Michael Brown and former Boynton Beach Police Officers Justin Harris and Ronald Ryan, Jr., with unlawfully assaulting an arrestee, J.B., during a traffic stop on August 20, 2014 and then filing false reports of the incident. Boynton Beach Police Sergeant Phillip Antico is charged in the indictment with filing a false report of the incident and obstructing justice during the incident.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
The indictment alleges that while serving as patrol officers and conducting a traffic stop of a vehicle, Brown, Harris and Ryan unlawfully assaulted one of that vehicle’s passengers, J.B. The indictment further alleges that Antico, as the patrolmen’s supervisor, and Harris aided and abetted one another in falsifying a report of the incident, and that Antico further intentionally misled federal agents who conducted an investigation of the incident. The indictment also alleges that Brown, Harris and Ryan made false entries in reports of the incident.
If convicted, Antico, Brown and Ryan each face a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison, and Harris faces a maximum punishment of 50 years in prison.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative assistance of the FBI and Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Rhee Osborne of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.