AFRICANGLOBE – Florida authorities released a cellphone video Thursday showing a Miami-Dade police officer kicking a handcuffed Black man in the face. Sgt. Gustavo De Los Rios, 38, was charged with a misdemeanor for the incident, which took place in Miami Lakes on Valentine’s Day.
The video, which was made public by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, shows several officers arresting David Brown, then De Los Rios kicking him once, then dropping his knee on Brown’s neck.
De Los Rios was given paid vacation at the time.
Brown’s parents told reporters they still want answers.
According to police, officers pulled over a teenager allegedly wanted for burglary, and the teen — Brown — allegedly fought officers who tried to use their Taser.
Eventually, Brown was placed on the ground on his stomach with he hands handcuffed behind his back. That’s when, prosecutors say, De Los Rios crossed the line.
“Right after he put the handcuffs on. He’s down on the ground. He’s not moving. He’s under control. The officer just comes and gives him a kick, with what I believe is his right foot, to the left side of his face,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said.
The kick didn’t seriously injure Brown, but Fernandez-Rundle says that’s beside the point. “That is unacceptable and intolerable and that’s why we charged him.”
Miami Dade Police put out a statement at the time saying De Los Rios’ actions “are disappointing and do not reflect our agency’s core values. … All allegations of misconduct, involving (by) our personnel, will be vigorously investigated. No one is above the law.”
De Los Rios has a history of violence and was arrested for domestic abuse in an incident with his ex-wife last year. Court filings show restraining orders. And the Miami Herald reports that, in 2015, De Los Rios abused his power to find out about his ex-wife’s travel plans.
Fernandez-Rundle said, “It’s so disappointing when a few of these officers just abuse the trust that we have in them, in this way. It affects all of us.” It is even more disappointing when the so-called good cops do nothing to stop the alleged bad minority bad cops.
At the time of the incident, De Los Rios was asked to comment. He hung up. His defense attorney didn’t return our calls.