MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A rough arrest caught on camera almost could have proven very costly for several Miami-Dade Police officers.
Those officers will face no criminal charges and no disciplinary action by their department even though the charges against the person they roughed up were dropped.
Bodycam video doesn’t fully support the officers’ version of what occurred.
Ephraim Casada was pulled over by some Miami-Dade officers on March 27 for littering.
In their arrest report, police claim Casada at first refused to get out of his car and was hiding his hands.
Body cam video appears to tell a different story though.
It shows Casada getting out of the car with his hands up before an officer immediately spun him around, slamming him onto the trunk.
Casada argues with the officer who is attempting to put handcuffs on him.
In the shaky body cam footage, Casada is purportedly repeatedly hit in the face. When he complains about being struck in the face, one of the officers admits to doing it.
“You just hit me in the face,” Casada is heard saying.
“You’re (bleeping) right I did. Stop resisting. Stop resisting,” an officer responds.
Casada does appear to be resisting being handcuffed.
Once he is restrained, he complains again about being hit in the heat.
Officers charged Casada with battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence.
Those charges would later be dropped.
A former assistant to State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle wrote that she “…reviewed the body worn camera footage and was troubled by what I saw. It is my belief that those officers were less than truthful about the actual events that occurred.”
It would take four months for prosecutors to decide to drop the charges against Casada, who is suing Miami-Dade Police.
CBS4 reviewed documents from the State Attorney’s Office, in which a senior prosecutor says the assistant who decided to drop the case had “inaccuracies” and “flaws” in her review of the body cam videos.
She is no longer with the State Attorney’s Office.
Miami-Dade Police, in a detailed internal affairs report, said there was no evidence the officers even violated any department policy.
Tuesday afternoon Casada’s lawyer wondered why, in all this, his client wasn’t charged with the original offense- littering.
“That’s an interesting portion of this, that the thing that they said that [Casada] did, which led to the stop, is not something that they even charged him for,” said attorney Igor Hernandez.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez held a news conference regarding the incident on Tuesday evening.
“Parties noticed there were inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the memorandum prepared by the assistant state attorney at the time,” Perez said.