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Trial Begins For Former Opa-locka Cop

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A former Opa-locka police officer with a lengthy disciplinary record is facing trial on charges of battery, tampering with a witness, and false imprisonment.

The former officer is accused of punching a man during a domestic violence call. When the man went to the Opa-locka Police station to file a complaint, the officer allegedly confronted the victim, placed him in handcuffs, and locked him in a holding cell for a period of time.

Without legal justification for the detention, the officer would be guilty of the crime of false imprisonment. He would also be guilty of witness tampering if he used threats, force, or intimidation to keep a witness from coming forward about possible allegations of police misconduct.

The battery charge stems from the punch at the scene of the domestic violence call.

If convicted, the former officer faces five years on the false imprisonment charge, five years on the witness tampering charge, and 364 days in jail on the battery charge.

Eric Matheny is a Miami criminal defense attorney and Broward criminal defense attorney.