A video posted to Instagram on Friday is quickly gaining traction as it captures the latest case of excessive and unwarranted use of force by police, this time, in Miami-Dade County.
According to reports from Local 10, two New York residents–Khalid Vaughn, 28, and Sharif Cobb, 27–were in Miami Beach after attending the Rolling Loud when they stumbled upon the violent arrest of a Black man at their hotel. That’s when they decided to use their phones to film it, but it wasn’t long before they found themselves injured and in handcuffs.
“What was done to me and Sharif is unjust and was a criminal act of violence and Mob Mentality,” Vaughn wrote on Instagram as he shared the video.
On July 26, more than 20 officers flooded the lobby of the Royal Palm Hotel shortly before 2 a.m. Videos recorded from different angles show several officers watching their colleagues kick and punch tourists at the hotel, with all of them failing to intervene during the incident.
The evidence shown on both surveillance videos and the officers’ body-worn camera prompted Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to file misdemeanor battery charges against Officers Kevin Perez, Robert Sabater, David Rivas, Steven Serrano, and Sgt. Jose Perez.
This entire brawl began when 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup of Kentucky panicked, according to police.
An officer accused Crudup of a scooter parking violation, which caused Crudup to speed away on the scooter, injuring an officer who was trying to arrest him. He ran inside the hotel lobby and got into the elevator, which is when surveillance video showed Lt. Jose Reina holding him at gunpoint. Crudup followed orders to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back.
Fernandez Rundle said Crudup was in handcuffs when Officer Kevin Perez and Sgt. Jose Perez took turns striking and kicking him. Video footage shows Vaughn was holding up his mobile phone and recording the encounter from a distance.
“Officers yelled at me to back up, as I began doing so, I was speared by an officer, elbowed in the face by another, then ultimately jumped by officers,” Vaughn wrote.
Videos show Sabater ran to tackle him, put his arms around him, and thrust him towards a large column. Vaughn managed to keep his balance before a group of officers cornered him, with a body camera video showing Rivas punching Vaughn in the ribs. Another video shows Serrano hit him repeatedly until he fell down, all while he was handcuffed.
“As my friend Sharif recorded what was happening to me, an officer then grabbed him by his hair, slammed him to the ground face first,” Vaugh continued.
According to the arrest report, an officer punched Cobb in the chest and he “suffered a swollen left lip and scrapes on his ankles.” Fire Rescue personnel took Vaughn to Mount Sinai Medical Center where he required stitches.
“I was taken to the hospital for the laceration on my face and to check for brain injuries. Then put back in a police vehicle and left there for approximately 5-6 hrs. Then I was taken to Miami Dade County Jail where I was strip-searched and processed,” Vaughn wrote.
Crudup is now facing four felony charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and resisting an officer with violence.
Members of Circle of Brotherhood, a Miami nonprofit organization that encourages Black men to get involved in activism, recently met with Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements to ask him to fire all of the officers involved.