FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Jurors have found former Hollywood Police Officer Matthew Barbieri not guilty of using excessive force during a rough arrest in 2019.

7News cameras captured Barbieri as he broke down in tears as the verdict was read in a Broward County courtroom in Fort Lauderdale, Thursday afternoon.

The jury reached their verdict a few hours after they began deliberations in the month-long trial.

Barbieri was charged with misdemeanor battery in connection to the Aug. 19, 2019 arrest of Raymond Schachner.

Surveillance video captured the moment Barbieri appears to slap Schachner, whose father had called 911 because his son was on drugs and out of control.

In her closing argument, prosecutor Kayla Bramnick said there were inaccuracies in Barbieri’s report, and his actions went too far.

“What we have here is a situation of a cop using his power, taking advantage of an individual who is not likable, who’s not a threat and who deserved better simply because he is a human being and because every human being deserves the same dignities and not to be assaulted, controlled in his own home because he is high,” she said.

But defense attorneys claimed Schachner was high on heroine and came at Barbieri with a syringe, adding the state couldn’t even agree on what happened.

“Suddenly went from two slaps to a punch and a slap, to a punch and two slaps, to then three slaps until the victim finally, in exasperation at the end of my cross-examination, says, ‘OK, I’ll stick with three,’” said defense attorney David Bogenschutz, “and then had the prosecutor cross-examine the defendant suggesting it was two punches, which obviously is not accurate.”

Defense attorneys also claimed Schachner had pleaded guilty to all four charges that stemmed from that day and has a lengthy criminal history.

Schachner took the stand earlier in the trial.

“When I got hit across the face, I felt it all the way into my ear canal and on the bottom of my jaw,” he said.

In the end, jurors agreed with the defense. They began deliberations at around 1 p.m. and returned with a verdict just after 4 p.m.

This is at least the fifth police brutality trial that state prosecutors in Broward County have lost.

When asked whether or not he wants his job with the police department back, Barbieri replied, “No comment.” His attorneys said that decision will be 100% up to him.

“His job? That’s a question he’s going to have to wrestle with, with the City of Hollywood,” said Bogenschutz. “I think a not guilty [verdict] and acquittal on the actual charge, because he was suspended because of that, it seems to make it favorable to him to do that, but that’s something between him and the city.”

Had he been convicted, Barbieri could have faced up to a year in jail.

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