You’ve probably seen the viral video showing a Florida woman clearly using violence to resist arrest against a much bigger Florida Highway Patrol officer. In the video, Eleanore Stern, a 31 year-old Florida resident, shoved, kicked, and wrestled against Trooper L.E. Broomfield during a visit to a Deerfield Beach DMV office. The controversial moment caught on video easily became a viral news sensation, with news sites from all over the world reporting the incident within a day.
After seeing the video of the scuffle, showing a confrontational Stern clearly attacking the police officer, one would imagine she would be charged with a serious offense. Battery on a police officer in the State of Florida is, after all, a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.
What many are unaware of is Stern was charged with what many might consider a “slap on the wrist”. The official police report shows she was charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor: “Resisting Arrest Without Violence”. Jail records show Stern was able to go free after posting a $100 bond just 12 hours after being arrested. The judge on the case is listed as Judge Mardi Levey Cohen.
This comes after many law-enforcement officers in the United States are facing legal troubles for police-involved deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Miriam Carey and many other victims of color, some of which involved little provocation by the victims.
With video evidence showing Stern clearly committing battery on a police officer, getting charged with an offense that includes “without violence” in the description, getting out of jail for a minimal bond amount and the fact she is white might cause some to consider a double standard existing in the judicial system in Florida.
Would charges be the same if a Black or Latina woman had been arrested for the same behavior? Even though the police officer is shown using restraint against excessive use of force, does the fact he is Black make it less of a crime to commit battery against him?
To top it off, the 31 year-old suspect is shown smiling on a police mugshot.