“There are new details in the arrest of two Fort Pierce police officers who face charges after a patient was beaten at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center.
Court records reveal efforts to cover up what happened inside a hospital room that included turning off their body cameras.
Now, a Fort Pierce city leader is calling for stricter rules.
On Feb. 20, surveillance video inside the hospital recorded the moments officer Albert Eckrode slapped and punched a patient, who investigators say was intoxicated and using racial slurs toward a black female officer Monica Frederic.
Court records reveal every officer in the room turned off their body cameras.
“So, had it not been for the recording in Lawnwood, we wouldn’t know to this day what happened,” said Fort Pierce Commissioner Reggie Sessions.
Investigators said officer Eckrode was provoking the patient to keep using the n-word. And before throwing punches, records show Eckrode checked that each officer had their camera off.”
Frederic told investigators she “should have known something was going to happen when Officer Eckrode asked if their cameras were activated.”
Frederic is charged for lying in her report about what happened and also showing her summary of events to Officer Eckrode before submitting it.
Investigators said she lied that Eckrode was spit on and kicked by the patient, provoking the beating. They also said that she tried to get another officer to tell the same story.
She also is accused of making a second report, saying that didn’t actually happen.
Eckrode is also accused of telling the same lie in his report.
“When you have those type of officers who just saying, ‘to hell with the rules and the regulations, I’m going to cover it up,’ like what happened here, that needs to be handled,” said Sessions.
Sessions worries too often body cameras aren’t catching criminal activity.”