Home / Miami-Dade Cops Caught on Camera in Overly Aggressive Arrest

Miami-Dade Cops Caught on Camera in Overly Aggressive Arrest


Once again, we are treated to a video of overly aggressive cops apprehending a suspect because a citizen happened to have a camera handy.

Compared to some of the videos we’ve seen on Youtube, this is pretty non-eventful because it doesn’t appear as if punches, kicks, Tasers or pepper spray were used against the non-resistant suspect.

But considering the man they were trying to apprehend was merely walking his dog in a park and was attempting to comply with their orders, it was a little overkill.

But thanks to Youtube, we are now realizing these types of overly aggressive arrests are quite common, even if they do violate what is supposed to be police protocol in use-of-force escalation – not that it will ever be addressed by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

According to Miami resident Matthew Bradley, the man who recorded the video earlier today, police were called after the suspect had ordered some kids to stop playing in his yard.

One of the kids threatened to call his dad and the man allegedly threatened to kill both the kid and his father.

Bradley says that he did not witness any of that, so it’s pretty much hearsay at this point.

But he did witness cops escalating the situation in a park in Miami Lakes when all they were going on was the statement of a child.

“The man was simply walking his dog. He was at the park for at least two hours prior to the police showing up. As soon as two cops showed up they charged him quickly. The cops immediately called for back up even though the man did absolutely nothing for back up to be called. He kept backing up from the cop because the officer was getting in his face. About 10 minutes later, 3 other cops show up asking him questions. They were telling him to stay still but 7 officers kept approaching him. They then told him to sit down, he complied but then they started getting rough and that is when I began recording.”

Two lessons that can be derived from this video:

One, please try to make it a point to record horizontally by turning your phone in a horizontal position. Yes, it’s awkward on a phone but the end result is a full frame video instead of a vertical video in between black strips.

Two, if you are not resisting an arrest, be sure to announce you are not resisting before cops order you to “stop resisting” because that is something they are trained to say even if you are not resisting.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.
  • the sage

    The video is missing what led up to this. Incomplete and inconclusive.

    • bj

      Yes, that’s true although I’d suggest to you that some judgement can still be made regardless. That events occurred before the film began does not mean that a reasonable judgement cannot be made that the level of force was not overwhelming and greater than the minimum amount necessary to detain a suspect. Why was so much force used when the man was clearly not a threat to officer safety? Do we not want peace officers to show restraint and minimise risk of injury to citizens (except where citizens are a threat)?

      • Bob Bobson

        I’m not sure there was anything wrong in this arrest. If he threatened a child and his father, then he’s not in a mental state of mind that is receptive to being arrested. From what I see in the footage, he is indeed resisting arrest.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          I agree. At one point, you can see him try and pull his arm forward, instead of behind his back. The officer that spoke on camera asked why the man refused to sit down. At the start, the man’s arms are under his body, a typical move to resist being handcuffed.

          I don’t see any excessive force.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        The officers clearly showed restraint.

        • mostly harmless

          “…clearly showed restraint” this situation could have been dealt with by one cop with a reasonable sense of proportion, let alone two, and then backup besides.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            And how much experience do you have dealing with subjects in these situations?

      • Rafael

        When a person being placed under arrest is not willfully putting is hands behind his back and kicking his legs that resisting. I dont like bad cops either but he clearly was not cooperating.

      • the sage

        I simply disagree. If the guy slapped a cop in the face prior to filming, then no…I don’t see excessive force. After they get this guy on his belly and attempt to get his arms behind his back, he resists and flails one of his arms free.

        • bj

          He was simply not a threat in the video and that’s what matters when viewing the subsequent actions of the ‘peace officers’. Do you think that movement you described as resisting could be a natural response to the experience of lying on thr ground, surrounded by multiple people with weapons who are shouting and putting their weight onto your body? Would you be fearful? This is how human beings can respond when they’re in positions that threaten their sense of survival. They often don’t lie still in the face of danger (real or perceived) when the way they are handled is not proportional to their behaviour iedistely prior. Many people have been conditioned to believe that this is the only way to police, when policing in the vast majority of western nations is vastly different. What I’m trying to say is, how can we avoid this sort of policing, the kind that puts complete value on immediate and physical intervention. What happened to the power of speech and reasoning in this case? Do you think the suspect looked like he was going to run? Officers are trained to get too physical, too fast, like there is an immediate deadline on their investigations. The tendency to escalate to physical confrontation in some US policing is not the way police usually operate in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, you name it. (I accept that use of force is not the norm in most cases in the US.) There is a different policing culture in the US and it’s becoming clearer to see with online proliferation of police encounters.

          • the sage

            You refer to…the video.
            My original comment was that the video is incomplete and inconclusive.
            You chose to state otherwise.
            Should the suspect had been violent or extremely defiant towards multiple officers prior to filming would explain the footage. The article suggests the man threatened to kill a boy and his father. This raises the stakes considerably…it is now not just some innocent guy walking his dog.
            Whether a natural response or not, if you are not going limp to allowed to be cuffed then a natural response will be to charge you with resisting and then have to apply more force to get you to comply.
            I am only interested in addressing common sense realities.

  • Haeshu

    Way too rough. The only criminals I see as far as this video goes are the cops.

  • JdL

    The biggest criminal gang on the face of the earth.

  • chjode

    When his dog started barking, I was afraid the cops would shoot the dog and claim it was attacking them.

  • Joel Turner

    What a bunch of thugs.

  • Difdi

    If the various legal tools (RICO Act for example) for dealing with the mafia and criminal gangs were applied to police departments, very few would survive. Far too many of them meet the legal tests for being criminal conspiracies or corrupt organizations, and the way those laws work even being a janitor for a police department could result in long prison sentences in some cases.

  • RaymondbyEllis

    I’d like to argue your point but when the DOJ takes over a PD, I’m hard pressed that it wasn’t a criminal organization as it takes a lot for the DOJ to take over same.

    RICO was well-minded to be generous, but lead to asset-forfeiture as standard practice, something courts considered abhorrent prior. You may never be charged with a crime, or charged and found “not guilty”, but your property has been and was never even given a right to an attorney.

    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” or the more forgiving “law of unintended consequences”.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    Well, “mostly harmless” clearly doesn’t have a clue. You never send a single officer on any disturbance call. Anytime a subject has made threats and then fails to comply with the officer’s request, you get additional officers.

    This is not a one on one match, it is not about being equal in numbers. You want the additional numbers for several reasons. First, it may give the guy pause, and he’ll submit peaceably. Second, if he decides to fight, it gives officers the advantage.

  • mostly harmless

    You clearly can’t read, which doesn’t bode well for your future in a legal profession; two cops initially responded, and that is plenty in this case. Five, or even seven, at best makes them look incompetent.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    LMAO at mostly.

    You stated “could have been dealt with by one cop”, hence the comment that you never send one officer. Or don’t you remember saying that?

    As to five or seven? Sure, bring additional officers. He is already non-compliant, you have information that he made threats of violence, so you bring enough officers to dissuade him. If that doesn’t work, then it gives you enough officers to take him into custody without undue violence.

    Do you even understand the dynamics of using force to effect an arrest? With two officers, you have to go hands on, to stun or incapacitate him, and then cuff him. Sure, you can do it, but the risk of injury to the subject goes up dramatically compared to having four or more officers. Note by stun, I’m not talking taser, I’m talking about a strike to the common peroneal or femoral nerves in the legs, to the ulnar or radial nerves on the arms, or the bachial plexus tie-in on the neck. All of these techniques risk injury to the subject, compared to the use of four or more officers, which minimizes the injury risk.

    There is also the positioning aspect. With two officers, the contact officer is position 1 and the cover officer is supposed to be at position 2.5 (only this rarely happens, because the suspect always turns). With four officers, you can properly position the officers at 1, 2, 2.5 and 2.5.

    I can also tell you that the least of the officers concerns was how they looked to the public in the area. Their goal was to arrest the subject with no injury to anyone. They accomplished that. Whether they looked good to you is not real high on their priority list.

    You look at the video and see something that you really don’t understand. I, or any other officer, look at the video and see a sound arrest, with no injuries.

  • mostly harmless

    I said, for the sake of reiteration, this situation could have been dealt with by a single cop let alone the two that responded and then the seven that eventually mobbed him, because the situation was relatively innocuous. The meaning, for the benefit of soon to be unemployed law student, is that one cop could likely have dealt with this situation verbally rather than 5-7 people physically confronting a single guy over a minor disagreement, where there is no apparent threat from weapons and the man is mostly non confrontational.

    I used to work in various bars and a lot of potentially aggressive situations were diffused by staff simply handling people in the right way. Police regularly manage to do this in the UK and other countries, so why are we seeing so much of this lately in the US. Is it better, or in fact as I would suggest, a much worse course of action to be so heavy handed? What was the guy actually arrested for, anyway, apart from resisting arrest?

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    Fine. Then you come over here and do it.

    I’m sure that the police will swoon at your experience at pubs.

  • mostly harmless

    Come over there and do what? What are you on about now? If those cops would act like that in the uk they would have got arrested themselves. Perhaps you want a society where people are treated like trash, but I would use any democratic means necessary to vote this breed of thinking out of office.

  • mostly harmless

    “I’m sure that the police will swoon at your experience at pubs” ha ha just like the ladies do when you give them that stuff about pressure points?
    Why not try attacking the argument not the person? Some of the points you made we’re valid: when talking about crack crazed pimps on killing sprees. But this was a guy walking his dog, where a kid alleged threats made against him whilst trespassing on his property. The police response was disproportionate. This kind of thinking is insidious and I’m glad people like Carlos shine a light on it.

  • http://twitter.com/LegendaryAsshol Balzan Cauckinand

    Someone needs to mace all of those thugs.

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