5 Miami Beach officers charged after rough arrests of scooter operator, bystander

MSN – NBC News

Florida prosecutors on Monday filed charges against five Miami Beach police officers for allegedly using excessive force in arrests made in a hotel lobby, officials said.

The five law enforcement officers were charged with misdemeanor battery in the incident that was caught in hotel surveillance footage and body-worn cameras, Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told reporters.

All five law enforcement suspects, Sgt. Jose Perez and Officers Kevin Perez, Robert Sabater, David Rivas and Steven Serrano, surrendered late Monday morning, officials said.

Representatives for the Miami Beach Police Officers FOP Lodge 8, the union representing officers, did not respond to multiple messages from NBC News seeking their comments on Monday.

“When we see this, it’s alarming, it’s disturbing,” Rundle told reporters after showing footage of the rough arrests.

The incident unfolded in the early morning hours on July 26 as Daltona Crudup, 24, was on his scooter and allegedly hit a bicycle officer, sending the officer to the hospital and putting him on crutches, authorities said.

Crudup fled and briefly ducked into an elevator of the Royal Palm Hotel before the first pursuing officer pulled him out — and the suspect appeared to comply with police commands, Rundle said footage showed.

But after Crudup went to the floor and was handcuffed, at least one officer could be seen apparently kicking him in the head and another appeared to lift the prone suspect and drop him to the ground.

Bystander Khalid Vaughn, 28, was taking cellphone video of Crudup’s arrest when he too was taken into custody, officials said. Videoappeared to show Vaughn backing away from police on their command before he was tackled and punched.

“This is by no means at all a reflection of the dedicated men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department,” MBPD Chief Richard Clements said. “As an agency we’ll learn from this and we’ll grow from this and do better. This is not what you see from our officers.”

And Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber thanked prosecutors and police for moving so quickly on the case.

“The video is not who we are, which is why our department took decisive action within hours of the incident,” Gelber said in a statement late Monday afternoon.


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