Old allegations against a Broward Sheriff’s deputy who accused a Pompano Beach woman of assaulting him during a traffic stop three years ago have resurfaced, and they will be introduced in court if the case against the woman is not dropped, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Kianna Cooper, 28, is asking Broward Circuit Judge Peter Holden to dismiss the charges accusing her of aggravated battery on Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Davis. The case is set for a hearing on Thursday.
Cooper is accusing the deputy of being the aggressor in the May 2022 confrontation.
After news coverage of the case was published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel and other outlets, a woman who was arrested by Davis in December 2020 came forward to complain that she, too, was the victim of overly aggressive policing by Davis.
Like Cooper, Lauren Holliday was accused of resisting arrest with violence, a felony. According to her arrest report, Holliday was driving with a suspended license, and in the altercation accompanying her arrest, she wounded Davis’ right index finger.
Holliday resolved her case by pleading no contest to resisting without violence. In her letter to the judge in Cooper’s case, Holliday said her own arrest was retaliation, coming less than a week after she filed a complaint about Davis harassing her over walking her service dogs along the beach.
“Davis didn’t even tell me why he was arresting me,” she said. “He just pulled me out of the car and kneed me to the ground. His gun flew out of his holder. It has been the most terrifying event in my life.”
Holliday’s letter included information about a federal lawsuit filed against Davis in 2007. In that suit, he was accused of excessive force, using a stun gun on a woman who complained about her husband being arrested after receiving a parking ticket.
Prosecutors have declined to comment on the case against Cooper, who was forcibly arrested after refusing to hand her driver’s license to Davis, who was investigating a call about a disturbance. Davis never told Cooper why he wanted to see her identification.
Bodycam footage shows Cooper asking Davis why he’s being so aggressive. It also shows her exiting her car and getting into the physical confrontation with the deputy.
Her lawyer, Steven Melnick, is moving to have the case dismissed. If the case proceeds, Melnick said he would call Holliday as a witness. Holliday said Tuesday she would be willing to take the stand.
Rafael Olmeda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4457.