MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — Shocking video shows officers attacking and kicking two men during an arrest in Miami Beach. Just days later, five of those officers are now charged with battery.
Surveillance video shows 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup with his hands in the air as he is held at gunpoint by a Miami Beach police officer inside the lobby of the Royal Palm Hotel in South Beach in the early morning hours of July 26.
Police say Crudup initially ran from them on a scooter after striking a bicycle patrol officer. Even with him on the ground cuffed, more than 20 officers show up and pile on.
Then, Officer Kevin Perez kicks Crudup in the head. Later, slamming his head to the ground.
“When we saw that kick to the head, and then we replayed it and we saw all the other kicks that preceded it. It was unfathomable. Unspeakable. Inexcusable, “ Miami-Dade County State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said.
Fernandez Rundle said body camera footage shows Sgt. Jose Perez kick a handcuffed Crudup three times, while Officer Kevin Perez kicked Crudup at least four times.
Fernandez Rundle said surveillance video also shows Khalid Vaughn, 28, using a cellphone to record Crudup’s arrest from about 12 feet away. Body camera footage shows Vaughn backing away at the instruction of an officer when Officer Robert Sabater tackles Vaughn to the floor and repeatedly punches him. Fernandez Rundle said Officer David Rivas and Officer Steven Serrano also struck Vaughn.
Instead of trying to sweep the incident under the rug, Fernandez Rundle says Miami Beach police leadership did the opposite and alerted prosecutors right when they saw the video.
“Moving forward I can promise you we will learn from this,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements. “We will grow from this and we will do better.”
Fernandez Rundle held a news conference Monday to announce the first-degree misdemeanor charges against the five Miami Beach police officers. The officers had previously been suspended, and Fernandez Rundle said additional charges might follow. All five officers turned themselves in earlier Monday.
“I think one reason the chief and his department and I moved so swiftly is because it is intolerable,” Fernandez Rundle said.
Crudup was charged with several counts, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. The bicycle patrol officer, that police say he struck, was taken to a hospital for treatment of leg injuries.
Charges against Vaughn of resisting an arrest with violence and impeding a police investigation have been dropped.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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