FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Fort Lauderdale police officer has been put on paid leave after a YouTube video surfaced of him slapping a homeless man.
Fort Lauderdale Police said the encounter happened at around 5 p.m. on Sunday when an officer, who is not being named by the department, went to arrest 58-year-old homeless man Bruce Laclair.
In the video, the officer is seen escorting Laclair out of the terminal area near 101 NW 1ST Ave. When Laclair seems to resist, the officer then pushes Laclair to the ground.
Laclair can be heard saying, “(Expletive) you,” while the officer responds with, “Relax. I am going to tell you what is going to happen right now. I am going to escort you out right now.”
Laclair tells the officer he needs to pee, but the officer tells him he cannot.
He then tells Laclair to get up, but then says, “I’ll push you to the ground and beat you if you (expletive) want to fight me.”
The two argue for a few more seconds before the officer slaps Laclair, who falls onto his side.
“I’m not (expletive) around with you. Don’t (expletive) touch me,” the officer said.
The officer handcuffs Laclair and proceeds to check his pockets. After radioing other personnel, the officer finally walks away with Laclair.
Laclair is being charged with trespassing an unoccupied structure or conveyance.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said the officer is being investigated. They said there is a possibility they will hold a press conference tomorrow regarding the issue.