LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette police officer who was fired for using excessive force to subdue a suspect has his job back.
Former Lafayette Police Officer Pablo Estrada was accused of punching and shoving a man who was taken into custody, and fired from the department as a result.
The Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board upheld Estrada’s appeal of the firing at a hearing Wednesday morning. Estrada was reinstated to his previous position, and awarded back pay from the date of his termination.
Video of the November 2020 incident went viral. It shows a detainee being shoved and punched after refusing to sit down.
Estrada argued that the video showed him employing proper methods of subduing a person who is a perceived physical threat.
“Verbal didn’t work, physical presence didn’t work, so we had to escalate it,” Estrada said at the hearing. “It clearly doesn’t warrant using deadly force, but there has to be a happy medium where he can be safe and I can be safe, but I’m not going to allow for a suspect to have the upper hand.”