Four Miami Beach police officers were placed on administrative leave with pay, and some may be hit with charges following the aggressive arrests of three men this week. An internal affairs investigation into the encounter has since been launched.
Dalonta Crudup, Khalid Vaughn, and Sharif Cobb, ages 24, 28, and 27, respectively, were taken into custody by Miami Beach Police officers identified in a report as Alvaro Leon, Robert Sabater, Steven Serrano, and David Rivas. The incident occurred around 1 a.m. Monday, July 26, at the Royal Palm Hotel in South Beach.
Crudup told Miami’s Local 10 News that the policemen beat him up first, then proceeded to the other young men despite those two having no initial involvement in the incident that led to his arrest. “I got beat up, got stitches, went to the hospital. … They beat up two dudes that was recording me that was inside the hotel, and they ain’t even do nothing wrong,” Crudup explained. He was in the hotel’s lobby when officers were arresting him for allegedly illegally parking his scooter and then later striking a bicycle officer with it, allegations he denies.
A New York native in town for the Rolling Loud music festival, Vaughn said that Crudup was already in handcuffs when he started recording. He told the officers there was no need to continue to beat Crudup. That’s when he says cops turned their attention to him and “charged me down, beat me.”
He added, “Punched me, elbowed me in the face.” Vaughn’s injuries included a cut on his face and a busted lip. “I literally got jumped by officers,” he shared. According to a report obtained by WSVN, Vaughn “keeps recording and disregarding officers’ commands” and then ignored “multiple loud, clear verbal commands to stop resisting.” Ultimately all three men were arrested. They were later released from custody.
In a statement , Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said:
“I reviewed the video footage regarding this incident, and I have serious concerns about the force utilized after Mr. Crudup was in custody, including the level of force utilized in the subsequent arrest of Mr. Vaughn. This is not indictive of the hard-working men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department and will not be tolerated. In response, I immediately initiated an Internal Affairs investigation and relieved four officers of duty until such time as the investigation is complete. I also contacted the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to conduct a further review of this incident, as I’m firmly committed to ensuring that this investigation follows the appropriate process.”
As for the bicycle officer, he has since been released from the hospital with a brace and will need crutches, according to a department spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Crudup faces multiple charges, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer with violence, criminal mischief, and reckless driving resulting in damage to property or a person. Vaughn was charged with resisting arrest with violence and impeding a police investigation. However, the charges against Vaughn have been dropped. The video of the incident has not been released to the public.