MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – CBS4 News has obtained video of a scuffle on Miami Beach with police officers. YouTube video shows Miami Beach Police officers in the middle of a crowd of spring breakers.
Police handcuff the man in the blue shorts. He seems to try to break away from the officer’s grip then you see an officer strike him.
According to Chief Ray Martinez, a lieutenant and sergeant were patrolling the beach on a dune buggy when someone threw something at them.
The officers went into the crowd and arrested the man in blue shorts portrayed in the video. Police say he was drunk and after he was handcuffed, and he continued to lunge away from officers and began spitting in the lieutenant’s face.
That’s when, the chief said, the lieutenant applied a so-called “distraction blow” – a quick punch followed by a strike with an open hand. The chief said the officer did that to get control of the man and stop him from spitting.
The chief told CBS4’s Maggie Newland that the lieutenant reported the incident to his superiors, who conducted an investigation, standard protocol any time any kind of force is used. The chief said he viewed the video and it matched the lieutenant’s report.
The chief does not expect the lieutenant to face any kind of disciplinary action.
“It appears this use of force was within our policies practices and procedures,” said Chief Martinez.
When showing the video to Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, he agreed with the chief.
”You need to look at it in context and the person is not exactly cooperating with the police department and there seems to be a crowd that is forming around the officers, so they need to take the actions they need to take to ensure the safety of everybody including themselves,” said Gonzalez.