- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2017

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Charges have been dropped in at least 18 central Florida criminal cases and hundreds more could be reviewed while authorities investigate a sheriff’s deputy who apparently was caught on his own body camera taking $100 bills from a DUI suspect.

The fallout from Volusia County Deputy John Braman’s resignation last month continues as prosecutors prepare to send as many as 800 letters to defense attorneys in cases he was involved in during his eight-year career.

“It’s a black eye on law enforcement, which is already under attack,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “He made a conscious decision to be a thug with a badge and he was shaking people down.”

Body camera video of an Aug. 1 incident clearly showed the deputy going through a wallet and tossing something out. The wallet is put in an evidence pouch and $100 bills are visible nearby. Chitwood said there have been several complaints about Braman stealing money from suspects and that Braman admitted he took money because he’s going through a divorce.

Braman is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but hasn’t been charged.

His lawyer, Michael Lambert, criticized Chitwood for calling his client a thief when charges haven’t been filed against him.

“I get very tired of someone like the sheriff swearing to uphold the Constitution, which includes that someone be given a fair trial, and yet be out there and saying everything he can to demean John Braman,” he said.

Braman made 120 arrests in 2016, ranking him 22nd in arrests out of 388 deputies last year. He earned $60,000 in 2016.


Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, https://www.news-journalonline.com

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