Three file suit claiming Orlando police officers used excessive force in arrests



ORLANDO, Fla. - Three men have filed a lawsuit claiming that Orlando police officers used excessive force while arresting them last year.
Prosecutors dropped all of the charges Orlando police filed against the men shortly after their arrests in January 2013 at Universal Orlando.
The attorney representing the three men said security video from Universal shows one of his clients being tackled by a security guard.
According to police, the incident started when some drunken karaoke bar patrons refused to leave after being told to leave when they took the stage out of turn.
In the video Orlando police Officer Ed Michael is seen striking Charles Schaefer in the head and then Officer Alberto Negron Nieves is seen striking him four more times.
The video doesn't show a claim in the police report that Schaefer was "violently fighting them by throwing blows."
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the contradiction could hurt police in court.
"The problem for the police is that the defendant appears to be restrained and incapable of punching back when officer are wailing on him," said Sheaffer.
In 2005 Michael faced trial after he was accused of severely beating a homeless man who was half his size. Michael claimed the man resisted after trespassing in an empty parking lot. Michael was acquitted.
The video from Universal also shows Nieves pepper-spraying a man who appears to be recording with his phone. And he pepper-sprayed a man who was on the phone with 911 dispatchers reporting the officers' behavior.
Nieves' report said Spencer Bass refused to stop talking on the phone and that Bass grabbed his hands in front of him, clenching them. The video does not appear to show that incident.
Orlando police officials deny the excessive force and false arrest claims in the lawsuit.