MIAMI, FL – A group of Florida police officers were recorded on video repeatedly kicking and punching a handcuffed suspect before assaulting a bystander who was filming the incident, with several of the officers since brought up on charges.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has announced that five cops so far have been brought up on first-degree misdemeanor battery charges – with possibly more charges on the way – after surveillance and officer bodycam footage from Miami Beach recorded in late July revealed the shocking attacks.
On the day in question, footage from a security camera in a hotel lobby shows Dalonta Crudup, 24, attempting to elude police in an elevator after he allegedly hit a bicycle cop with a scooter. However, a lone cop catches him at gunpoint before the doors close, at which time Crudup is put face-first on the ground and handcuffed.
At that point, as many as 20 other cops file into the lobby and pile on top of the suspect; prosecutors have released an edited video comprised of the hotel surveillance and bodycam footage showing officers repeatedly kicking, punching, and slamming Crudup’s head into the ground; at points in the video, prosecutors either freeze or slow down the footage to highlight these purported acts.
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During the altercation, a bystander – Khalid Vaughn, 28 – began to record the arrest on his cell phone from approximately 12 feet away. Officers could be seen turning their attention to him, and as Vaughn is seen on police bodycam footage smiling and slowly backing away while following police orders, he is suddenly tackled into a concrete pillar.
Cops are then seen swarming Vaughn, and again prosecutors slowed down the video footage to highlight several instances where the officers can be seen punching him as he is on the ground.DA Fernandez Rundle said that she was alerted to the existence of the shocking footage by Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements.
“We’re all really horrified by it,” Fernandez Rundle said. “When we see this, it’s alarming, it’s disturbing, nobody wants this to happen, including police departments themselves.”
Crudup, who had hospitalized the officer that he had allegedly struck with his scooter, was charged with several counts, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. However, when asked by local media why he had fled the scene of the accident, he said that he was scared that police were “trying to put a black man in jail for no reason. I ain’t do nothing wrong.”
Vaughn had been arrested for impeding a police investigation and resisting an arrest with violence, but Fernandez Rundle said that those charges were immediately dropped after she watched the footage of the incident.
“We felt what he was doing, was within his rights,” she said.