FORT MYERS, Fla.- Trevor Lehman, the former Fort Myers Police officer fired for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest in February 2013, testified during arbitration today at the Harborside Event Center to try to get his job back.
Lehman was fired in July 2013, after being with the Fort Myers Police Department for four years.
In February 2013, Lehman is said to have struck a suspect who was resisting arrest, in the knee, head and neck.
Chief Doug Baker made the decision to fire Lehman after dashboard camera video surfaced, showing the incident.
Chief Baker has said he's uncomfortable with re-hiring Lehman because throughout their investigation, he insisted he did nothing wrong. Chief Baker says he's concerned Lehman would act the same way in the future and believes he is a liability.
Though the two-day arbitration began yesterday and wrapped up today with Lehman testifying himself. During his testimony, he said "I had no malicious intent to cause harm to him at all." While watching the video, he said "at this point he has not been searched, I don't know if there's anything from a knife to a gun in his pocket, I don't know what his intentions are."
Police union president Matt Sellers says he was pleased with the evidence presented during arbitration and does not think Trevor's termination was justified.
Baker says, "it's difficult from both parties' side, from the organization's side and I'm sure even the community side as far as the outcome."
The situation got to this point because Lehman filed a grievence after he was fired. Both sides will now prepare briefs for the arbitrator, then he will have another 45 days to make a decision. That ruling will be final.