West Palm Police Could be Forced to Re-Hire Cop in Beating Video

One of the West Palm Beach Police officers charged with brutalizing a handcuffed suspect in a highly-publicized incident that embarrassed the city could be patrolling the same streets again soon, Gossip Extra has learned.

Sources tell me Louis Joseph Schwartz, one of the officers caught on video kicking a suspect, is going through an arbitration process that could get him back in blue — with a year’s back-pay!

“I think he’s got a good chance of being re-hired and some money,” said local Police Benevolent Association boss John Kazanjian. “He responded to an armed robbery. He should have received an award for this, and instead he got fired. We’ll find out his status within a couple of months.”

Schwartz along with partner Kurt Graham were seen kicking the suspect, alleged Oxycodone thief Pablo Valenzuela, when they responded to a robbery-in-progress call at a CVS in May 2008. Schwartz and Graham were considered the most serious offenders although Schwartz may have been pepper-sprayed by Valenzuela.

In time, Graham resigned. Schwartz was fired but filed to take the case to binding arbitration.

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Arbitration stopped when Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe criminally charged both officers with felony misconduct in June 2009.

Two months ago, however, McAuliffe made the controversial decision not to pursue the charges – triggering the continuation of Schwartz’s arbitration.

“If there was unnecessary force from Schwartz’s part in this, he shouldn’t have been fired,” Kazanjian said. “Schwartz gave him (Valenzuela) a little kick. Maybe there should’ve maybe been a suspension but he never should’ve lost his job.”

For more:

No. 2 at State Attorney’s office represented police officer whose charges were dropped

Ethics complaint filed against State Attorney Michael McAuliffe in dropping charges vs cops

Lawyer of cops in beating incident donates money to State Attorney Michael McAuliffe’s campaign

Can State Attorney Michael McAuliffe be trusted?

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