Five officers in Miami Beach are currently facing criminal charges after allegedly using excessive force during the arrest of two men at a hotel in the area.
For now, Sgt. Jose Perez, and officers Kevin Perez, Robert Sabater, Steven Serrano, and David Rivas have been charged with battery and a first-degree misdemeanor. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle states that additional charges could follow.
“Excessive force can never, ever, ever be an acceptable foundation for the policing of any community,” says Rundle before adding that officers who forget that rule “do a grave disservice to the people they have sworn to serve.”
The series of events took place when Daltona Crudup allegedly hit one of the officers with his scooter and proceeded to flee into the Royal Palm Hotel. An officer pulled Crudup out of the elevator and he is handcuffed as he lied face down on the ground with his hands raised.
In the footage, Sgt. Perez and Officer Perez are reportedly seen kicking Crudup, followed by Officer Perez slamming the victim’s head into the floor.
During the incident, Khalid Vaughn is seen moving away from an officer before being tackled and punched by multiple officers.
“When we saw that kick to the head. And then we, and then we replayed it and we see all the other kicks that preceded it, it was just unfathomable, it was unspeakable, it is just inexcusable,” said Rundle. “I’m not alone in that feeling. I watched the chief watch that video and his head just went right down on the desk. So we’re all really horrified by it.”
Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements says that he is “disappointed that this is out there and depicts our department in the manner that it does when they know that we are much better than that.”
The five officers involved have been relieved of duty as the investigation continues.