Sgt. Garry Wilson, a police officer in the Riviera Beach Police Department is facing criminal charges after arguing with a disabled veteran about a handicapped parking space. On August 11, Army veteran Isiah James encountered Wilson outside of a Walgreens pharmacy. James video the encounter with the officer who doubted James’ disability. Wilson is heard on video saying James did not look disabled and he watched him walk into the store.
What Wilson did not know was that Wilson served three tours in Army and served in Afghanistan. Wilson also yelled that had been blown up by an IED and was in coma for two months. James suffered a traumatic brain injury and must wear leg braces.
Wilson then knocked the phone James was using to film the encounter out of Jame’s hand while saying move that camera out of my face.
Wilson, a 20 year veteran of the Riviera Beach Police Department will be arraigned in a Florida court on battery and criminal mischief charges on December 2. Both charges are misdemeanor crimes and it is unclear if Wilson will be lose his job as a result of the encounter.
James, who was angry throughout the encounter questions why the officer never looked at the placard.
Assault is a serious charge and the video clearly shows the officer hitting the phone from James’ hand. That constitutes assault.
Patrick Donovan is a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts who has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts.