Miami police launched an internal investigation after an officer was seen on video punching a victim's family member after the man invaded a crime scene. The 48-year-old detective will remain on active duty during the investigation, said The Miami Herald. According to a Miami police spokesman, the inquiry will determine whether or not the officer used excessive force. "We can't determine by the video," he said.
The incident occurred on Monday after a 25-year-old was shot and killed while riding his bicycle. Two of the victim's brothers crossed the yellow tape and entered the crime scene after police investigated the area. During a struggle with the officer in question, one of the brothers was punched in the stomach repeatedly before the officer shoved him across the police line. The Miami police chief declined to comment on the incident but acknowledged the unresolved investigation.
The incident continues to spark debate in the Miami-Dade legal and law enforcement community. According to a consultant on law enforcement practices, the officer appeared to be out of line. "Once an officer uses force," said the consultant, "he is supposed to de-escalate the force as the suspect de-escalates his resistance. Instead, we see the officer pushing and hitting him when a that point he doesn't appear to be resisting."
A co-worker said that the officer's actions could be justified, especially since he didn't know whether or not the brother was armed. The officer's actions could also be justified if he feared that the man was attempting to disarm him. A training instructor with more than 20 years of experience working with Miami's SWAT team said, "It's easy to Monday morning quarterback."
He continued "This happened real quickly, and you have to remember, you don't have time to reason and talk to people especially when they are being aggressive. In my opinion, what [the officer] did was not wrong." At Parks & Braxton, we know that circumstances aren't always what they appear to be. If you were accused of a crime in Miami-Dade County, our team is ready to fight for your future, reputation, and freedom. Call our office today to see what we can do for your case.