MIAMI, Fla. – Top brass at the Miami Police Department said they are looking into an incident that a woman caught on cellphone video.
There are still many questions and the facts have not been fully gathered, but the witness who Local 10 News spoke with is certain that the officers went too far. NiNi Milton said she witnessed a rough arrest on Sunday in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, near Northwest 62nd Street and 17th Avenue.
Video captured a man being punched in the face from a city of Miami police officer while physically restrained during a traffic stop.
Miami-Dade police were also on the scene, but it was the same city of Miami police officer who put the man in a headlock apparently while struggling to get handcuffs on him.
The video showed another city of Miami officer, who Milton said, kicked the man.
It is clear that police had a tough time in their attempts to restrain the man whose face was left bloody. What is unclear is why police pulled the man over or what brought on the tense confrontation.
A woman who was with the man being arrested tried to get officers to back off and bystanders can be seen yelling at the police.
At one point, a Miami-Dade police officer could be seen having a serious conversation with the cop who performed the headlock, although it’s not known what was said.
Milton told Local 10 News that she and her mother were driving from the funeral of her aunt who had passed away from COVID-19 when they saw the commotion. She told Local 10 News that when police saw her recording, they told her she would be cited for stopping traffic.
The video comes on the heels of the Department of Justice announcing it is ending its five-year oversight of the Miami Police Department, sparked by a history of excessive force and deadly force complaints.
In its final report, the Department of Justice said: “MPD has collaborated with DOJ in revising policies, procedures or practices relating to the use of force that the DOJ deems to be deficient.”
But that punch and subsequent headlock will likely be the focus of an Internal Affairs investigation. City of Miami Police is investigating.
More information is expected on Monday.
(This is a developing story that will be updated on Local 10 News and Local10.com.)