Florida prosecutors on Monday filed charges against five Miami Beach police officers for allegedly using excessive force in arrests made in a hotel lobby, officials said.
The five law enforcement officers were charged with assault and battery in the incident which was filmed in hotel surveillance footage and body-worn cameras, the state prosecutor told reporters. from Miami-Dade County, Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
The five law enforcement suspects, Sgt. Jose Perez and officers Kevin Perez, Robert Sabater, David Rivas and Steven Serrano surrendered late Monday morning, officials said.
Representatives of Miami Beach Police Officers FOP Lodge 8, the union representing the officers, did not respond to multiple NBC News messages seeking comment on Monday.
“When we see this it’s alarming, it’s disturbing,” Rundle told reporters after showing footage of the brutal arrests.
The incident took place in the early morning of July 26 as Daltona Crudup, 24, was on his scooter and allegedly struck a cycling officer, sending him to hospital and putting him on crutches, authorities said .
Crudup fled and briefly ducked into an elevator at the Royal Palm Hotel before the first prosecuting officer removed him – and the suspect appeared to be complying with police orders, Rundle said.
But after Crudup lay down on the ground and was handcuffed, at least one officer could apparently be seen kicking him in the head and another appeared to lift the suspect up and drop him to the ground.
Witness Khalid Vaughn, 28, was recording video of Crudup’s arrest on his mobile phone when he was also taken into custody, officials said. Video appeared to show Vaughn walking away from the police on their orders before he was tackled and punched.
“This is in no way a reflection of the dedicated men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department,” said MBPD chief Richard Clements. “As an agency, we’re going to learn from this and we’re going to grow and do better. It’s not what you see from our officers.”
And Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber thanked prosecutors and police for acting so quickly in the case.
“Video is not who we are, which is why our department took decisive action in the hours following the incident,” Gelber said in a statement late Monday afternoon.