Miami Beach, FL — Multiple Miami Beach police officers were arrested this week after harrowing footage showed nearly two dozen cops surround and then trample a compliant man who had just laid face down on the ground and surrendered with his hands behind his back. Highlighting their disdain for transparency and accountability, after pummeling their first victim, the violent gang of badged thugs jumped their second victim for doing nothing other than filming it.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements held a press conference on Monday to announce the charges. During the conference, they showed the four-minute video, highlighting the crimes of the officers.
In the video, an incredible 21 officers are seen swarming into the lobby of a South Beach hotel and surrounded their victim before unleashing a fury of kicks, punches, and slams. According to police, the man seen getting his face and body smashed in by police boots is Dalonta Crudup, 24, who was suspected of running into an officer while riding a scooter. Police say the officer who was hit is now on crutches.
According to police, they approached Crudup over his parking spot. They claimed he was illegally parked. Police say that when a Miami Beach officer approached Crudup for illegally parking, Crudup took off and struck an officer in the process.
Surveillance footage shows Crudup speeding away on the scooter but does not show him striking an officer. The video below picks up after Crudup ditches the scooter and runs into the lobby of the Royal Palm hotel.
As the video shows, an officer, with his gun drawn, commands Crudup to exit the elevator. Crudup complies with every order he was given and immediately gets on the ground, face down, and puts his hands behind his back as he is handcuffed.
At this point, 20 more officers rush in and surround the completely surrendered man and begin to attack him in what looks like a gang-style beatdown. According to Fernandez Rundle, that when “the situation begins to change from criminal arrest to investigation of use-of-force.”
Clearly astonished at what he was witnessing, Khalid Vaughn, 28, of New York — who didn't know Crudup at all — took out his phone to document the horrible abuse he saw unfolding in front of him.
As the video shows, as multiple cops keep kicking and punching Crudup — who was seen laying in a pool of his own blood — the gang's attention then turns to Vaughn. Vaughn is seen smiling at the officers as he holds up his phone to film before one officer, identified as Robert Sabater, tackles the innocent man for filming, slamming him into a hotel column.
The gang of rabid cops then swarms Vaughn as he is kicked, punched, slammed to the ground and handcuffed. Vaughn had broken no law, nor was he accused of breaking a law like Crudup.
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“We felt what he [Vaughn] was doing, was within his rights,” Fernandez Rundle said during the press conference.
Nevertheless, his innocence was no defense against a brutal attack that left him injured, kidnapped, and thrown in a cage.
“I started recording it. They already got him in handcuffs. They beat him, turned around, charged me down, beat me,” Vaughn told WPLG. “Punched me, elbowed me in the face.”
Luckily for Vaughn, however, surveillance footage proved he was innocent and the charges of obstruction against him were dropped and he was released from jail Tuesday morning.
“... I have serious concerns about the force utilized after Mr. Crudup was in custody, including the level of force utilized in the subsequent arrest of Mr. Vaughn,” chief Clements said in the statement.
According to the arrest report of the officers involved, officer Alvaro Leon used “multiple right elbow strikes to Mr. Vaughn’s facial area.” Officer Robert Sabater struck him on the right side of his face with “approximately four right closed fist strikes.” Officer Steven Serrano delivered several closed fist punches to his “general head area.” And Officer David Rivas hit him in the left rib area with a closed fist.
The officers seen beating the hell out of Crudup were arrested on Monday and charged with misdemeanor batter. They were Miami Beach Police Sgt. Jose Perez and officers Kevin Perez, Robert Sabater, Steven Serrano and David Rivas. The five turned themselves in at Miami Beach police headquarters.
Naturally, the police union has appointed each one their own attorney and is defending their innocence.
As you watch the video below, know that Crudup deserved to be held accountable if he indeed broke the law. However, he will now receive a hefty settlement from the taxpayers because this massive gang of cops couldn't control their rage and violence. As for the attack on Vaughn, every one of the 21 officers who didn't participate in his beating, needs to be criminally charged for failing to intervene while watching their fellow brothers in blue assault a man for practicing his freedom of speech.