MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Khalid Vaughn was a witness, recording an arrest on his cellphone, when an officer tackled him to the ground and unleashed a series of punches.
According to arrest reports for the five Miami Beach officers being charged in last week’s rough arrest, one cop exclaimed “my man,” to which Vaughn replied: “I’m minding my business but I’m just recording. Y’all got him already. He handcuffed.”
The officer shouted for Vaughn to back up.
Video shows the witness complied. An arrest report says he was “five feet away from the nearest officer but upwards of 15 feet away from the spot where Mr. Crudup is being detained. Mr. Vaughn complies with the commands and backs up. Continues to record (while) taking steps backwards in compliance…”
Still, officer Robert Sabater “rushes around other police officers and shoulder slams into Mr. Vaughn. Sabater repeatedly strikes Vaughn,” an arrest report says.
Five Miami beach officers are being charged criminally for what happened that night, Miami-Dade’s state attorney announced Monday. In the lobby of the Royal Palm Hotel on July 26, cops caught up with Dalonta Crudup, who had just been accused of injuring another officer with a scooter.
Even though Crudup complied and was handcuffed, video shows he was body-slammed and kicked in the face by Sgt. Jose Perez.
In June, Miami Beach commissioners passed a controversial ordinance, making it a civil citation to be within 20 feet of arresting officer, something Vaughn was initially charged with before his case was dropped.
But the law specifically says people must get an adequate warning and comply. And that’s what happened in Vaughn’s situation before his rough takedown, the video showed.
All five officers face first-degree misdemeanor battery charges and are expected to appear before a judge for a hearing in the coming weeks. They have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.