APOPKA, Fla. - About 10 percent of Apopka police officers have been under internal investigation for the past few months, according to documents obtained by 9 investigates.
Five officers were recently disciplined stemming from an incident 10 months ago.
That investigation centered on how an officer and suspect made it onto the other side of a fence while the suspect was in handcuffs. That’s something body camera video does not clearly show.
That night, the now-convicted car burglar, Dalton Mosley, was hiding from Apopka police in the backyard of a home off White Tail Loop.
Somehow, he and Officer Kenyon Friedline forced their way through a space in a wooden fence, and within seconds, Mosley was face-down on the ground.
During the internal affairs investigation of that incident, Friedline testified the department is suffering from low morale.
“The morale of the department is shaken by so many IAs,” he said. “If you told me there was 30 of them going on right now, I'd believe you.”
Documents show that at least 10 officers were under investigation at one time, from a department of around 100.
Chief Mike Mckinley said his department is ready to move forward.
“I'm very comfortable with the culture. We've had some rough times but I've met with staff, I've met with patrol, our civilian personnel over the last few days and we're ready to move forward,” he said.
Friedline was exonerated for his use of force in the internal investigation. But he and officers Christopher Clutter and Austin Bitter were disciplined for the way they treated the suspect after the fact.
Sgt. Daniel Colley and Lt. Christopher Hanstein were also disciplined for failing to properly document the incident.
“We need to be professional we need to make sure that we cover what we need to do,” said Mckinley. “The administrative part of this job is not always the fun part of that but we have to do it.”
Two other internal investigations are ongoing. One is a use of force investigation. The other involves a captain who has already entered into a separation agreement with the city.
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