Officer Travis Lamont took 84-year-old Daniel Daley to the ground what officers describe as a “dynamic takedown.”
October 19, 2010
When Orlando police decided not to discipline an officer who used a takedown maneuver to subdue an 84-year-old man during a confrontation in September, Orlando Copwatch founder John Kurtz said his reaction was simple:
“Apparently it’s perfectly acceptable to break old men’s necks for no reason,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz was one of about 20 protesters who gathered in front of Orlando police headquarters Tuesday to protest Officer Travis Lamont’s use of force during the Sept. 18 confrontation.
Protesters carried signs and handed out pamphlets, accusing the department of glossing over what they saw as a clear example of excessive force.
According to police reports of the incident, Lamont took Daniel Daley to the ground using what officers describe as a “dynamic takedown,” after police say the 84-year-old man became belligerent because his car was getting towed. Police say Daley had touched the officer more than once.
Daley’s neck was broken, and he was in an induced coma for nearly a month.
Orlando police have said they have “begun the process of reviewing the Use of Force Policy and will make appropriate modifications.” The Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office announced in September that Daley would not face charges.
Police Chief Val Demings said in September that, while he used the maneuver properly, Lamont could have considered other factors, including the man’s age, in determining whether to use the takedown technique on Daley.
In a statement Friday, Demings said that, “After review of the defensive tactic form by the training staff and Officer [Travis] Lamont’s chain of command, it appears the officer performed the technique within department guidelines.”
Protesters at the rally Tuesday likened the takedown used by Lamont to mixed martial arts: “Attention Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Travis Lamont,” Kurtz jeered into the megaphone. “This is not the UFC.”
Protester Scott White carried a sign with a picture of Daley wearing a neck brace, with the message, “Threat neutralized.”
“Two officers were present, and they couldn’t ‘cuff (Daley) without hurting him?” White said. White said he’s not a member of the Orlando Copwatch group. He said he came to the protest after he heard about it on Facebook.
Asked to respond to accusations made during the protest, Orlando police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones responded via email with two words: “Free Speech.”
Asked what he hoped would happen as a result of the protest, Kurtz said he wanted Lamont to resign.
“The people of Orlando can’t trust him anymore,” Kurtz said.