Miami Beach relieves 5th officer of duty in excessive use of force probe

‘I literally got jumped by officers’: 3 men claim they were victims of police brutality in SoBe

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A fifth officer with the Miami Beach Police Department was relieved of duty Thursday pending the result of an internal affairs investigation into the arrest of two tourists.

Officers arrested Dalonta Crudup, 24, Khalid Vaughn, 28, and Sharif Cobb, 27, on Monday at the Royal Palm Hotel, at 1545 Collins Ave., in South Beach. Crudup said the officers beat him up first and then moved to hit Vaughn and Cobb.

“I got beat up, got stitches, went to the hospital ... They beat up two dudes that was recording me that was inside the hotel, and they ain’t even do nothing wrong,” Crudup said.

Vaughn said he and Cobb, who played basketball in high school and college, were visiting from New York to attend the Rolling Loud music festival. He said they were in the lobby of the hotel when they saw a group of police officers beating up Crudup.

“I started recording it. They already got him in handcuffs. They beat him, turned around, charged me down, beat me ... punched me, elbowed me in the face,” Vaughn said. “I literally got jumped by officers.”

Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements released a statement saying he reviewed the video related to the arrests, and decided to initiate the internal investigation, and requested that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office conduct a further review.

“I have serious concerns about the force utilized after Mr. Crudup was in custody, including the level of force utilized in the subsequent arrest of Mr. Vaughn,” Clements said. “This is not indicative of the hard-working men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department and will not be tolerated.”

The officers first accused Crudup of parking a scooter illegally on Ninth Street and Ocean Court. Crudup said he did no such thing and complied by moving the scooter. Officers said he struck an officer who was riding a bicycle while he was fleeing.

The injured officer needed a brace and crutches, police said. Surveillance video shows a man on a scooter speeding down an alley and officers following him in front of several witnesses.

Miami-Dade County court records show Vaughn’s case for allegedly resisting arrest was closed on Tuesday. Records show Cobb is still facing a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer without violence and a civil infraction. He was released on a $1,500 bond.

Crudup is facing four felony charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, and resisting an officer with violence. He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief. He was released Tuesday on a $33,500 bond.

Clements said he is “firmly committed to ensuring that this investigation follows the appropriate process.” The department has not released the identities of the five officers who are under investigation or the videos in the case.

Tuesday evening report

The arrest of two men in Miami Beach sparked an internal affairs investigation within the city’s own police department.

Tuesday afternoon report

An internal investigation is ongoing following a rough arrest made by four Miami Beach police officers

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.