Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 25, 2013

WINSTON-SALEM — Former Salisbury Officer Kareem Puranda wept as a jury unanimously found him not guilty on two federal charges Thursday, alleging he used excessive force in a pair of 2009 arrests.
Jurors spent most of the week listening to testimony and watching in-car videos that showed Puranda punching a man and body slamming another to gain compliance from the suspects.
But jurors didn’t see the force as inappropriate and returned the verdict about 11:50 a.m. after about three-and-a-half hours of deliberating.
Puranda’s attorney, Chris Fialko of Charlotte, said jurors understood the often fast-paced situations police are thrust into.
“I think that what this shows is that police have a very difficult job,” Fialko said. “The fact that different officers have different opinions shows that it’s a gray line on this issue.”
Through his attorney Puranda declined to comment.
“Clearly we’re pleased with the verdict,” he said on the courthouse steps. “Kareem is very pleased to have this ordeal over.”
Check Friday’s Post for more information.