Riviera Beach Police Officer Smashes Disabled Vet's Phone in Confrontation Over Handicap Spot (Video) | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Riviera Beach Police Officer Smashes Disabled Vet's Phone in Confrontation Over Handicap Spot (Video)

The Riviera Beach Police Department says it's investigating an officer after a video surfaced of the cop getting into a confrontation with a disabled veteran. 

The video, shot on Sunday with the man claiming to be a disabled vet's cell phone camera, depicts Sgt. Gary Wilson walking up to the man, who had parked in a handicap spot at a Walgreens parking lot on Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach. The man tells Wilson he has a handicap permit, but the officer refuses to believe him and accuses the man of not being disabled since he's not using a wheelchair to get around. 

“You’re walking; you’re not handicapped," Wilson says in the video. "Someone else should use this space.”

The two men get into a verbal confrontation when suddenly Wilson seems to lunge toward the man. It's not clearly seen on the video, but it appears the officer slaps the man's cell phone. The man tells Wilson that his camera is damaged after the incident. 

The man begins to demand for another officer to show up and continues to accuse Wilson of cracking his phone.

The man then tells Wilson that he served twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan and that it's not the officer's place to determine whether he's disabled.

"Just so you know, there's three screws in this leg right here," the man tells Wilson. "Traumatic brain injury. All that shit from getting blown up and shot at."

The man adds, "Just because I don't look like a disabled person doesn't mean I'm not disabled. You don't get to decide that. Uncle Sam says I'm 90 percent disabled for the rest of my life. That's how it works. Ten years of serving my damn country. You don't get to decide that."

Word of the video quickly spread throughout social media, and people took to the Riviera Beach Police Department's Facebook page to vent their anger toward Wilson's actions against the man.

People also tweeted at the department over the incident:
The Riviera Beach Police Department says it's launched an investigation of Wilson, saying in a statement, "We, as an organization, share the same gratitude and respect for Veterans. We support Veterans and appreciate their commitment to serve our country. Although the department has not yet received an official statement regarding the incident in question, an Internal Affairs Investigation is already in effect."

Ironically, back in March, the department put out a call for veterans who were interested in joining the force:
The Riviera Beach PD says it will determine whether Sgt. Wilson will be disciplined once it concludes its investigation.
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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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