Five Miami Beach Police officers are facing charges stemming from an incident in which they aggressively arrested a scooter rider and a bystander recording the confrontation.
According to WSVN, on Monday, Aug. 2, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced that Sgt. Jose Perez and officers Kevin Perez, Robert Sabater, Steven Serrano, and David Rivas were charged with battery — a first-degree misdemeanor — however, more charges may soon follow.
The latest update comes after hotel surveillance and body camera video of the beatdown Dalonta Crudup was made public. Fernandez Rundle described the clip as “alarming” and “disturbing,” later adding that “there’s so many adjectives that we could use to describe it. It was just unfathomable. It’s unspeakable. It’s just inexcusable.”
In the video, Sgt. Perez kicked the 24-year-old in the head at least once while he was already pinned down to the ground by two other officers and in handcuffs. Fernandez Rundle said Perez kicked the man three times. Another officer then lifts him, only to drop him back down to the ground.
As previously reported, Crudup was arrested after fleeing to the Royal Palm Hotel after he allegedly illegally parked his scooter and later injured a bicycle officer with his vehicle, subsequently sending him to the hospital and putting him on crutches. However, he’s expected to be OK.
According to Fernandez Rundle, the footage shows that Crudup obeyed officers’ commands as he was seen lying on the floor with his hands behind his back. At the time, Khalid Vaughn, a witness, started recording. The 28-year-old began to back away, per the officers’ command, but he was soon tackled.
At the time, Vaughn told Local 10 News that authorities “punched me, elbowed me in the face.” His injuries included a cut on his face and a busted lip, telling the news outlet, “I literally got jumped by officers.” In addition, the clip showed the young man receiving “a series of punches in the back rib cage area,” the state attorney explained.
Vaughn and his friend, Sharif Cobb, who also recorded the incident, were arrested for obstruction. “I think that they were trying to do the right thing, and they ran into a culture of police activity that we all wish just didn’t exist, but it does,” Vaughn and Cobb’s attorney David Frankel told the news outlet.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a statement Monday afternoon that the culture Frankel mentioned “is not who we are.” But, he added, “Which is why our department took decisive actions within hours of the incident.”
All officers involved turned themselves in this week and were suspended and later relieved of their duties as the investigation continues.