Miami Beach, FL — On December 18, 2018, Miami Beach police officer Adriel Dominguez lost his temper and delivered a haymaker to the face Lowell Poitier Jr., sending the innocent man crashing to the ground. The entire incident — which unfolded in 2018 — was captured on body camera and the public only knew about it because two good cops would show it to them.
For the last two years, an internal “investigation” has been underway which wrapped up recently. One would think that the two cops who showed a criminal cop punching an innocent man would be given a promotion and the bad cop fired and charged, right? Wrong.
Instead of Dominguez facing charges of assault for attacking Poitier, he was cleared of any wrongdoing. And, instead of promoting the two cops who exposed a bad cop within their ranks, Internal Affairs investigators gave Miami Beach Police Officer Alfredo Garcia a written warning for “producing and distributing an unauthorized version of recordings” from his body camera. And Officer Frederick Dominguez received notice of a 10-hour suspension for releasing a copy of the tape made by Garcia to his attorney, Michael Pizzi.
The two cops are seeking whistleblower protection.
According to the report, Garcia filmed a copy of the body camera video on his cellphone and then gave that to officer Frederick Dominguez, who then released it.
Just like that, the bad cop gets a pass and the two good cops are punished for crossing the thin blue line.
The incident unfolded in December of 2018 at the Pelican Hotel. According to police, Poitier was being loud and smoking a cigar which bothered other customers.
As the Miami Herald reports:
According to internal affairs investigators, when Garcia and Adriel Dominguez arrived they spoke to the manager and asked Poitier to leave. Then, the report says, Poitier, who is Black, swore at the officers and called them “crackers.” Video of the confrontation shows Poitier walk toward Adriel Dominguez and put his face within inches of the officer’s face. The officer then grabs Poitier briefly with his left hand and cold-cocks him with a right, sending him crashing to the ground.
Some parts of Poitier’s arrest report didn’t seem to match what was seen on the video. In the report, police wrote that Poitier clenched his fist and took a fighting stance. That didn’t seem to be the case in the video.
Despite the false claims in the report, Poitier was charged with resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct. However, after the facts of the case showed that Poitier was the victim and not the aggressor, all those charges were dropped. David Kubiliun, an attorney who represents Poitier, said they are now pursuing a civil suit against the department for excessive force.
As the newspaper reports, the information on the Miami Beach police officers came to light after a recent public records request by the Miami Herald. In the close-out memo that cleared Adriel Dominguez, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said the officer could have believed Lowell Poitier Jr. was “about to hit him.”
“Thus, officer Dominguez had the right to protect himself,” wrote Assistant State Attorney Sandra Miller-Batiste in the “investigation” which cleared Dominguez.
Tuesday, Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements justified the officer’s unprovoked knock-out punch by claiming there is a side to police work that “doesn’t always look good,” but falls within the guidelines of what officers are trained to do.
“I believe this is one of those cases,” said the chief. “He was in what the officer perceived to be a fighting stance. In that case the officer reverted back to his training. It was a distractionary blow.”
Naturally, the whistleblower cops and their attorney disagree.
“What a disgrace. Based on the way this was handled, it’s open season on innocent people,” said Pizzi. “It’s outrageous.”
We agree. When good cops are punished for blowing the whistle, while the bad ones get a pass, any talk of “reforming” America’s police problem is pointless.