Mario Figueroa, the Miami police officer who was recorded kicking handcuffed suspect David Suazo in the head has been relieved of duty.
“The video depicts a clear violation of policy,” Miami Police Chief Jorge R. Colina said in a statement. “The officer has been relieved of duty and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office has been contacted.”
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
A cell phone video shot by Lisa Harrell shows the suspect David Suazo already handcuffed on the ground when another officer can be seen running toward him and kicking him in the head. That officer then drops to the ground next to the suspect and appears to put him in a headlock.
“You didn’t have to do all that, buddy. You tripping.” A woman can be heard saying in the video.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says her Public Corruption Unit has opened an investigation into the incident.
The witness who shot the video told CNN said she went outside and saw a man running around, trying to escape. But he couldn’t get away because there was a gate, so he surrendered to police, she said.
According to the police report, (which doesn’t mention the kick), Miami police had pursued Suazo, 31, on Thursday morning after spotting him driving a blue Jeep Cherokee that a record check showed to be stolen. Police said they tried to pull him over, but the suspect sped up and drove into a residential complex “with disregard for the safety of persons or property.” He crashed the car and fled on foot, as officers gave chase.
Officers said they gave verbal commands and the man said, “F*** you” to them and took a “fighting stance,” according to their report.
Suazo is charged with grand theft auto, fleeing/eluding police officer, reckless driving, driving with suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting an officer without violence.