GPD disciplines 5 officers involved in Bradley arrest

Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott speaking at Sept. 8 report on Terrell Bradley
Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott speaking at Sept. 8 conference regarding the Terrell Bradley incident. (Photo by Seth Johnson)

The Gainesville Police Department (GPD) is suspending two officers and warning three others for “improper behavior” during the July arrest of Terrell Bradley, who lost his eye in a violent encounter with a police K-9.  

According to a GPD release late Friday afternoon, an Internal Affairs Unit investigation found three officers were responsible for improperly taking photographs of Bradley’s injuries. All three received written warnings: Officers Dustin Johnson, Justin Snitselaar and Maurquice Miller.  

During the internal investigation into the photos, an “inappropriate and insensitive conversation” between two other officers surfaced, the GPD release said. The exchange took place on the VisiNet messaging system.  

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“Upon reviewing the final report and reading the messages in their entirety, Chief Lonnie Scott immediately placed the two officers on paid administrative suspension,” the GPD release said.  

The investigation found the conversation Officers Andrew Milman and Matthew Shott “did not have a GPD purpose” and violated department rules of conduct, which state that officers must “conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring discredit upon or adversely reflect upon the reputation of the Department, its members, the City of Gainesville, or the community.”  

Both officers received a five-day suspension without pay, training from the city’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, and completion of 30 hours of on-duty community engagement.  

“The poor decisions made by the five officers identified in this investigation were addressed and each officer was made aware of the impacts of such behavior and unprofessionalism,” the GPD release said. “Conduct of this nature by employees of the Gainesville Police Department will not be tolerated.”

The Bradley incident started as a traffic stop on July 10. According to GPD, Bradley elbowed an officer and fled on foot. Officers searched the vehicle, found a loaded handgun and a driver’s license that showed Bradley was a convicted felon, then initiated a K-9 search.  

When the dog found Bradley hiding in nearby bushes, it attacked him, causing multiple injuries. GPD officers called for EMS, but Bradley later had to have an eye removed.  

The incident sparked protests against police brutality and calls for change at GPD.  

GPD suspended the K-9 involved in the encounter while an independent investigation took place. The probe found the K-9 unit followed protocol “in accordance with department policy and industry standards.”  

“In every response-to-resistance technique utilized, injury is possible. But it is never the intent of our officers to injure anyone we encounter,” Scott said in a video releasing the findings. “Regrettably, Mr. Bradley was significantly injured.”

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