(MIAMI) — A suspended Miami Police officer was charged with assault today after cellphone video allegedly showed him kicking a suspect in the head during an arrest.
Officer Mario Figueroa was charged with misdemeanor assault for “taking a large kick at the head of a detained a 31-year-old car theft suspect named David Vladim Suazo,” according to a release by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez said the video played a significant role in charging Figueroa.
“Officer Mario Figueroa can have no excuse for the alleged actions seen on the initial videotape,” Fernandez said in a statement.
In the video, taken by a Miami resident last week, a cop can be seen pinning a suspect on the grass with both hands behind his back.
As one uniformed male officer finishes cuffing the detained man, another uniformed officer appears from the right and runs up to kick the suspect in the head.
“This community demands respect for all individuals taken into custody. Any evidence of abuse, which is also evidence of a crime, will assist us in going forward with this case,” Fernandez said.
An arraignment date has not yet been set for Figueroa. He was “relieved from duty” on May 3, according to Miami-Dade Police Chief Jorge Colina.
Suazo was later charged with third-degree grand theft of a vehicle, fleeing and eluding a police officer, reckless driving and damage to property or person and habitual driving with a suspended license, according to an arrest affidavit.
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