Opa-locka police officer suspended with pay after raid on wrong home

Cellphone video shows officer knock camera out of man's hand

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – An Opa-locka police officer who knocked a cellphone out of a man's hands during a raid on the wrong home has been suspended, Chief James Dobson announced Wednesday during a news conference.

The Opa-locka Police Department began an internal investigation after Thursday's botched raid at an apartment complex at 13875 NW 22nd Ave.

"We just have to look at the totality of what occurred within this incident," Dobson said.

Police received an anonymous tip that a man with a handgun was walking around threatening people and asking them for money. The caller gave a description of the man but didn't provide an apartment number.

Cellphone video provided by residents Jeff Byron and Stephanie Crespo shows officers with their guns drawn shortly after bursting through the door while their 8-month-old boy was in the apartment.

Byron began recording the incident with his cellphone, but the video ended when a masked officer knocked the phone away.

"To me, honestly, I feel like just that officer right there, he just needs to be off the force because he's, he's just a loose cannon," Byron told Local 10 News.

The officer has been relieved of duty with pay during the investigation. Dobson declined to identify the 15-year veteran, who is involved in several undercover operations.

"We are very serious about this investigation," Dobson said. "It's going to be transparent and will be professionally done."

About the Authors: