Lauderdale Officer Takes Job in Washington; Investigation Into Arrest Still Open
Correction: A previous version of this article suggested that Jeff Overcash may have resigned because of an Internal Affairs investigation. Overcash had announced his intention to resign prior to the video tape incident.
Jeff Overcash, the Fort Lauderdale police officer who arrested Brennan Hamilton, resigned Tuesday, one day after giving a statement in an Internal Affairs investigation involving his arrest of Hamilton. That arrest that was caught on tape by Hamilton's girlfriend -- that's the video above.
For the backstory of what happened before Hamilton approached the officer, read this Pulp post. The short version is that Hamilton was upset by what he considered rude treatment by Overcash a few moments before. He approached Overcash to ask for the officer's badge number. Out of concern that would lead to a false arrest, his girlfriend taped the episode, and that's what you see above. Hamilton was arrested on charges of resisting arrest without violence and disorderly intoxication.
"He cooperated fully with the investigation," said Sgt. Frank Sousa, the department's spokesman, who added that the Internal Affairs investigation will continue in Overcash's absence.
The Overcash incident was just one among a number of black eyes for FLPD this past year -- the biggest being its officers' personal security work for Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein. But there are signs that the department is getting tougher on bad cops. It's encouraging, for instance, that the department has launched investigations against those they suspect of abusing overtime pay, like Rick Burn.
In that case, Burn's superiors said he wasn't working even though he was collecting overtime pay, and the police brass gave his case to the Broward State Attorney's Office, which ultimately decided against filing criminal charges. An internal investigation, however, is pending, and Burn, a 25-year vet, is in danger of losing his job.
During a period when South Florida's shrinking tax base means layoffs in the Police Department and other important sectors of government, we can't afford to be paying cops who don't work when they say they're working, and it's good to see Lauderdale police are taking that seriously.