Miami Officer Suspended for Kicking Suspect in the Face

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  • A Miami police officer kicked a suspect in the face after he was restrained during an arrest in another example of abuse by the police. The suspect led officers on a brief chase in an apparently stolen Jeep Cherokee. After crashing the Jeep into a concrete wall, the suspect laid on the ground as instructed and was being handcuffed by police when another officer ran in and kicked him.

    The incident was captured by bystander Lisa Harrell, who posted it to Facebook. She wrote: “City of miami getting too reckless. He was down already. Didn’t have to kick him!!! I will not let this go unnoticed. He was not resisting arrest. He got on his knees and put his hands on his head. He WILLINGLY LAID DOWN. That fucking kick was uncalled for!!”

    And the city of Miami agreed. Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said officer Mario Figueroa’s actions “depict a clear violation of policy”. Figueroa has been suspended with pay while the department conducts an investigation.

    In an interview on local news, Harrell says the kick was uncalled for. The suspect is 31-year-old David Suazo, who was charged with grand theft and fleeing an officer, but the unnecessary kick wasn’t brought up during his appearance in court.

    State attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says she was “shocked and appalled” by what she saw on the video, but City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon thinks the attorney’s office is unlikely to file charges. He tweeted: “First: I predict the states attorney’s office will close its investigation citing that no crime was committed because officer missed when he kicked at arrestee. Second: I’m more disappointed in the non-assaulting cops who let their brother commit a crime without any noticeable objection. All culpable. Third: The courts will opine that there was no excessive use of force because the officer missed and hence no force exerted on arrestee.”

    Regardless of whether or not Figueroa made contact with his foot, there was definitely an intent to inflict violence on a suspect who had given himself up and was subdued by another officer. But with a history of so many cities letting officers who’ve committed far more violent offenses off the hook, Hardemon may be right that Figueroa’s likely to get off with a slap on the wrist.

    What do you guys think? Will Officer Figueroa get fired for the kick or will he be back on the force soon? Let us know in the comments.

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