MIAMI – “Get the [expletive] out of here!” one man yells. “You’re [expletive] up!” the other man yells back.
The exchange went on for nearly 15 minutes; recorded on multiple cell phones and surveillance cameras outside of Blue on the Bay, a high-rise condominium building in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.
One of the men involved is the on-duty guard, contracted to provide security for the building.
“What’s your problem, man?” the guard asks the other man in the video. The man tells the guard he wants the guard to leave and yells, ‘Go home!’ The guard replies, “I ain’t going nowhere, Man.” “Slavery days are over,” he says. “You don’t tell me what the [expletive] to do.”
David Bruton, who is Black, was the guard involved in that altercation. He’s a supervisor with S1 Security Group.
Bruton said one of his guards called off, back on March 29th. Bruton covered the watch at Blue on the Bay.
Eventually, lunch time came. Bruton said he ordered a pizza and was sitting inside his marked security vehicle parked outside of the building when a man approached the car.
“I saw him pointing at the car, and everything, so I got out to see what his concern was,” recalled Bruton. Bruton said the man wanted to know what he was doing, and began cursing and telling him he was supposed to be doing his job.
“I said, legally, I’m allowed to have a lunch.”
Bruton said, before things escalated, he calmed down, and got back into his security vehicle, and closed the door. But, he said the man was not done.
“He comes to the passenger side and snatches the door open,” Bruton said.
All hell broke loose.
“You are not authorized to be here anymore,” yells the mystery man.
Bruton tells the man, he’s crazy. He said, at the time, he didn’t know who the man was, nor did he care. The two get into a shouting match. Witnesses whip out their cell phones.
Bruton later learned the man he was arguing with was president of the Blue on the Bay condo board, Ben Dvir. Dvir would ultimately call the police, claiming he felt threatened by the guard.
“Look at this racist [expletive],” Bruton said, making sure to record the exchange in his own cell phone. “He’s racist as [expletive], Bro.”
“I’m racist?” Dvir asked the guard. “I’m more Black than you,” responded Dvir. Dvir is not Black.
Police arrived and their body cameras were rolling as Dvir made clear that he wanted the guard removed from the property.
A couple of witnesses wanted police to know the guard did nothing wrong and that Dvir should have handled the situation differently.
“This is not the first security guard he’s tried kicking out,” one man said.
“He’s a [expletive] to everybody,” a woman was told police, referencing Dvir.
Bruton said police later approached him to say they’d verified Dvir’s position as board president, and asked Bruton to leave. “I said, ok, no problem, and I left.”
Bruton’s boss and owner of the security company said he stands behind any employee who has been mistreated. Rolando Palma lost the contract with Blue on the Bay following the incident. He also said this wasn’t the first time Dvir had a problem with one of his guards.
“He’s made references, before, [to] people of color,” Palma said.
Palma said it is the first time an incident was caught on camera. Palma is now planning to take legal action.
Alessandra Stivelman does not represent Blue on the Bay, but she is an attorney who is board certified in condo law.
“You’re representing the interest of your entire community and you have an obligation to ensure that it’s properly represented,” she said. If not, board members can expose an entire association to liability in the form of discrimination complains, civil suits, and breaches of fiduciary duty.
“No one wants to deal with that because it only ends up getting paid by the owners – they’re the ones that suffer as a result of having a board that doesn’t know proper protocol,” Stivelman said. “Just because you’re a board member, doesn’t mean you can take unilateral actions – that you can fire people, or tell people what to do. There are certain procedures that need to be followed.”
She said this is an issue that should have been handled by Blue on the Bay’s property manager.
When Local 10 reached out for a response, we were told, “no comment.”
We were able to catch up with Dvir outside of the building, and tried to get his take on things.
He was getting into his car, and wanted to call his attorney, first.
He rolled up the window, and appeared to make a call. He also produced another cell phone and appeared to record the Local 10 crew as they waited. Seconds later, Dvir put the car into gear, and drove away, bumping reporter, Layron Livingston with his side mirror as he took off.