The Boca Raton Police Department is coming to the defense of one of its officers after police body cam footage appeared to show the officer fist-bumping a white nationalist protester.
Authorities say the video of the Aug. 13 incident only shows half the story, however.
“The Boca Police officer involved does not condone his message and was trying to get him to cooperate in the investigation,” the department said in a statement Wednesday. “…The video is heavily edited to portray it differently.”
According to Local News 10, the now-viral video shows neo-Nazi Marine vet Patrick Little holding a sign that read “JEWS RAPE KIDS” on one side, and “THE HOLOCAUST IS A LIE” on the other. The officer seems to endorse Little’s views when he fist bumps the man who was once barred from the GOP National Convention because of his anti-Semitic views
The department quickly released full video of the encounter to set the record straight after they say the edited version was “taken out of context.”
In the full clip, Little tries shaking the officer’s hand when he’s approached, but the officer explains he’s sick and offers his fist instead. It turns out it was Little’s cameramen who shot the edited video and shared it on social media, a police report stated
Officers were first called to the scene after 22-year-old Luis Carlos Reyes tried snatching the sign from Little and tearing it up, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Reyes told police he stopped his car and confronted Little after spotting the offensive sign while driving by the intersection of Dixie Highway and Palmetto Park Road.
“Get that s— out of here dude,” he shouts in the video taken by Little’s cameramen.
The two engaged in a brief struggle after which police charged Reyes with simple battery and criminal mischief.
Little, 34, who unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. Senate seat in California, is currently on a nationwide tour and said he plans to run for president in 2020.
As for Reyes, he’s scheduled to appear in court Sept. 13