MIAMI LAKES (CBSMiami) — The parents of a 17-year-old boy who was allegedly kicked in the face by a Miami-Dade police officer after the youngster was in custody are speaking out, saying that officer should face significant consequences.
“I am feeling very upset. I am angry. I mean with the police officer, I want him locked up,” said Ava Brown, the mother of 17-year-old David Brown. “I want that police officer incarcerated. I want him off the force. I feel very hurt. I feel you can’t trust the police anymore.”
Brown told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “What hurts me the most is that my son was on the ground handcuffed and not resisting arrest or anything. That is what hurts me the most to see that happen to my child and I can’t do anything about it. He needs to be punished and lose his job, not just suspended with pay. If one of us did something like that we would have been punished to the first degree.”
Thirty-eight-year-old Miami-Dade Police officer Gustavo de Los Rios is charged with misdemeanor battery and suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
The incident happened on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, in Miami Gardens near N.W. 186th St. and 57TH Ave. Authorities say Brown was pulled over because he was wanted for a burglary charge.
Prosecutors say Brown fought with officers who tried to use a taser. Brown was handcuffed and was charged with resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.
But Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle was critical of the officer’s actions after prosecutors said cell phone video from someone nearby showed disturbing images of Brown being kicked on the left side of his face while he was in handcuffs. That video will be released later this year during court proceedings.
The victim’s father, David Brown, told D’Oench, “By him being subdued like this police did not have to use excessive force. Once you had him restrained all you had to do was put him in a car and take him to where you want to take him. This was excessive and unjustified. We trust in law enforcement. We don’t look to them to do things like this. We trust in them to uphold the law. Now my son is more traumatized than anything else. He is in fear of police every time he comes in contact with them.”
“I think this was no the first time for this cop and now that he was caught hopefully he will be taken off the street do that this does not happen again,” said Brown.
Records show de Los Rios was arrested for domestic abuse in an incident involving his ex-wife last year. Court filings show a restraining order as well.
On Tuesday, Miami-Dade Police called the alleged actions of de Los Rios “disappointing” and said they “do not reflect the agency’s core values” and said the charges would be thoroughly investigated.
The parents of Brown are speaking with an attorney.
CBS4’s David Sutta reported on Tuesday that de Los Rios hung up the phone when he called him and said de los Rios’s defense attorney was not returning phone calls.