FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale police officers apparently laughed and celebrated after shooting rubber bullets at protesters during a police brutality protest last May.
Their actions were captured on a body camera worn by one of the officers.
Fort Lauderdale police posted the video on its official YouTube channel in response to a story by CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
The video was taken from the body camera worn by Detective Zachary Baro. It shows officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters after they began throwing things at the officers.
At one point another officer is heard asking Baro if his body camera is off. Baro replies that it in stand-by mode and not recording. That’s when the two begin laughing and joking about shooting protesters.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione posted on Twitter that the two minute clip released by the Miami Herald does not tell the whole story and that his officers were under attack.
#FLPD RESPONSE TO MIAMI HERALD STORY: Here is a statement from Chief Rick Maglione and a release of the body camera footage in its entirety.
— Fort Lauderdale PD (@FLPD411) July 2, 2020
Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said he was “troubled by what I saw on the video referenced by the Miami Herald.”
“While I am a huge supporter of the hard work of our police force, I would not want the actions of a few to taint the public’s perception of the dedication and professionalism of the Department as a whole,” Lagerbloom said in a statement. “I can understand the intensity of the moment captured on body camera footage as the officers were clearly under attack. The exchange recorded by the body cameras paints an unflattering yet truthful depiction of the chaos they were operating in. The language the officers used, and sentiment expressed is not consistent with what the public expects from our police force.”
Lagerbloom added that they are waiting on the police department’s after-action report and they will learn from this experience and do better.