The Miami police union released a statement Wednesday defending an officer who kicked a handcuffed suspect in the head, claiming the officer was actually showing “great restraint.”
Officer Mario Figueroa’s defense rests on the claim that his kick missed the suspect’s head, but he was nevertheless charged with misdemeanor assault, The Miami New Times reported. The Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement saying Figueroa’s kick was a “de-escalation technique” and that he should not be charged with a crime.
“While some have characterized this as police brutality, it couldn’t be farther from the truth,” union president Edward Lugo wrote in a statement. “The only thing brutal about this entire incident is the suspect that endangered the lives of the community in which our Miami Police officers risked their lives to take this dangerous man off the streets. From the onset, the media stated that Officer Figueroa had kicked the suspect on the head.”
Video of the incident shows that the suspect, handcuffed and with another officer on top of him, was able to shift his head and render the kick a glancing blow. Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina disagreed with the FOP, saying Figueroa’s actions constituted a “clear violation of policy.”
Today, the City of Miami Police Department received a video of an incident involving one of my officers. The video depicts a clear violation of policy. The officer has been relieved of duty and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office has been contacted.
-Chief Jorge R. Colina
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) May 3, 2018
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