As a video showing a Miami Beach police officer cursing out a young man during an apparent traffic stop makes the rounds on social media, the police department is saying it has opened an internal affairs investigation.
In the 1:02 clip posted Monday on YouTube, Officer Kenneth MacLeod and Albert Valdes appear to be at the end of a traffic stop. Valdes, who posted the video, says in the video’s summary that he’d been stopped and ticketed for having the license plate on his motorcycle folded up and flipped.
It is not clear from the video what was said before the two are about to part ways, but once Valdes says, “God bless you” to MacLeod, the officer comes back and launches into a profanity-laced tirade.
Detective Vivian Thayer said Valdes has not filed a complaints, but an internal affairs investigation has already begun into the incident.
“Even though we don’t have a formal complaint, we are being proactive and investigating it,” she said.
The video does not show the moments leading up to the outburst. Thayer said the department was made aware of the incident Tuesday afternoon.
“We do understand that it’s being shared on social media,” she said. “But the actions of one officer does not speak for the whole department.”
About 20 years ago, MacLeod was one of the victims in a bloody day in the history of South Florida law enforcement.
On Jan. 4, 1992, the same day North Miami detective Steven Bauer was killed in an ambush by bank robbers, MacLeod was shot three times during a gunfight on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.
MacLeod was working off-duty in uniform when he approached a man walking a motorcycle.
As MacLeod approached to ask him if there was a problem, the man opened fire. MacLeod later underwent hours of surgery before recovery.