HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - A Homestead Police officer is claiming he acted in self-defense after he allegedly pushed an inmate into a wall, leaving him injured.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce felony charges against officer Lester Brown for an incident that occurred in December 2018.

“We will not stand for such behavior,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Officer Brown’s actions were not only improper, but they were crimes.”

Surveillance video captured Brown pushing the inmate, later identified as Jose Garcia Alvarado, against a wall, leading him to bleed profusely.

“Garcia suffered a laceration to his forehead and was bleeding quite noticeably,” said Fernandez Rundle. “The Homestead Police officer caught these actions on their internal video system.”

To add insult to injury, prosecutors said, the law enforcer lied about shoving the prisoner in his written report.

“[Brown claimed] the subject fell forward,” said Fernandez Rundle.

Brown is now facing felony charges for battery and official misconduct.

After his arrest, the State Attorney’s Office released video of the entire encounter. Brown is seen from the hallway taking Garcia Alvarado by the elbows as he takes the inmate into the booking room, followed by four other officers.

Seconds after they entered the room, Garcia Alvarado went into the wall.

“We believe that the video evidence does not support Officer Brown’s written account that Garcia attempted to attack the officers,” said Fernandez Rundle.

But according to his attorney, Brown was defending himself that day against Alvarado, who was resisting arrest. The attorney declined 7News’ request for an interview but said the charges against his client go too far.

Records show Brown has a history of excessive force accusations.

In 2016, he was ordered to be fired for slapping a handcuffed woman, but he fought those charges and ultimately remained on the force.

With the latest action caught on camera, Brown has been placed on unpaid administrative leave and is in the process of being fired.

“There’s no question that Officer Brown’s initial actions resulted in the injury of Mr. Garcia,” said Fernandez Rundle.

The State Attorney’s Office has not charged Alvarado.

Fernandez Rundle was joined by Homestead Police Chief Alexander Rolle Jr. at the conference to provide details of the investigation leading to the officer’s arrest.

Rolle said the 2018 incident involving Brown is the final straw.

“We have a lot of integrity with our police department, and we’re not going to stand for any abuse of citizens in our community, whether they live there or they’re coming through,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox