DORAL(CBS4) – Dramatic new cell phone video showed a Miami-Dade Police Officer restraining a teenager on Haulover Beach on Memorial Day; and that 14-year-old youngster and his mother say police overreacted when they arrested him.
But Police said they had to restrain the teenager because he gave them “dehumanizing stares,” clenched his fists and appeared threatening when he walked away and refused to obey their repeated orders.
Maurissa Holmes used her cell phone to capture the incident that happened late Monday morning at the beach near 108th Street and Collins Avenue.
The video shows a Miami-Dade Police Officer with his arm around the neck of 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian.
“I feel that should never have happened,” said McMillian. “I don’t like it. I feel sad. He got in front of me on the ATC and he slammed my hand. Then he started choking me. Then my 6-week old Pit Bull mix named Polo got hurt and bruised his front paw when the police grabbed me and slammed me down. It makes me feel sad.”
“And my puppy got hurt for no reason at all,” he said. “I wasn’t doing anything, just walking away.”
“I ran over with my son and used my cell phone when I saw my son and he couldn’t breathe,” Holmes told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “There was no reason to slam him on the ground like that the way they did. He’s a child, not an adult. For them to jump off their ATV and do this, this is wrong. I want justice. You don’t do that to a child.”
McMillian’s sister, Kearra McMillian, said, “My brother did nothing wrong. He didn’t say anything to the officer. He just kept walking. I guess they just got mad because he wouldn’t stop.”
Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told D’Oench it was just after 11:00 am on Memorial Day on Haulover Beach when officers saw McMillian slamming another teenager on to the sand.
“They told him that behavior was unacceptable,” said Zabaleta. “He walked away and officers followed him. They asked where his parents were. He said he was not going to take them to them. When he started to leave the beach area, officers had to get off their ATVs to detain him. He had closed arms, clenched fists and pulled his arm away.”
“Once he was approaching the road, the officers restrained him. Again his body language was that he was stiffening up and pulling away,” said Zabaleta. “Now you’re resisting officers at that point and when the hands are swinging and you are resisting officers, at that point you have to be taken into custody.”
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat,” said Zabaleta. “When you have somebody resistant to them and pulling away and somebody clenching their fists and flailing their arms, that’s a threat.”
He said the police report did not indicate that a puppy was involved.
“At that point we are not concerned with a puppy,” said Zabaleta. “We are concerned with the threat to the officer.”
“How could I be clenching my fists when I was taking care of my puppy and giving him some milk with a bottle?” asked McMillian. “What do I want. I think we should sue.”
His mother said, “That police report was not accurate.”
McMillian was charged with resisting arrest with violence, a felony, and disorderly conduct. Miami-Dade Police said he had been arrested once before for robbery.
At the Juvenile Justice Center, an Assistant Public Defender entered a plea of not guilty for McMillian. He also asked that the state reconsider the charges against McMillian.
But Judge Maria DeJesus Santoveria declined to do that and said McMillian’s trial would start at 9 a.m. on July 16th.