Miami, Florida - a news report published on nbcmiami.com states that a Miami Police officer was relieved of duty while the officer is being investigated for his violent arrests of a homeless person who allegedly took some chicken at the Publix grocery store. The entire incident between the law enforcement officer and the homeless man was caught on video and went viral. The incident occurred on the evening of April 16, 2021, at the Biscayne Blvd., Publix.
According to the homeless person's arrest record, the suspect, A 58-year-old man, was witnessed grabbing a piece of chicken from the grocery store's deli, and the homeless man begins eating the chicken as he exited the store. Allegedly the homeless person stated that he didn’t have any money and that he was homeless when he was approached by the store manager who asked him to pay for the chicken.
The police officer, who the news article stated was working at the grocery store to earn extra money, was seen in video obtained by witnesses and post it on social media pushing the homeless man around, knocking him to the ground, wrestling him, and then punching the homeless man approximately six times in the head and face. Then the law enforcement officer put the homeless man in handcuffs.
According to the news article, the police officer stated in his arrest report that the homeless man was “tensing up, “ and he was keeping his hands away from the officer to prevent getting handcuffed. The officer then “redirected the homeless man onto the floor and then subsequently begin to strike the man in order to gain the homeless man’s compliance.
The police officer then placed the homeless man under arrest on a misdemeanor theft charge, resisting without violence charge, and disorderly conduct charge, which all charges were dropped four days after the man’s arrest.
The Miami Police Department provided a statement that read “The Miami Police Department is aware of the incident and has launched an investigation.” The Miami please department also stated that the officer who was involved in the violent arrest that was caught on video has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.”
According to Tommy Reyes, the Miami Fraternal Order of Police President, the group support the law enforcement officer in their statement that was released on Wednesday.
Rodney Jacobs, the assistant director of Miami civilian investigative panel looks and two complaints of police misconduct, said this incident was very concerning. “We really must start thinking about these things as healthcare issues,“ Jacob stated. He continued by stating the first thing that we ought to be considering is why a homeless person comes in contact with the law enforcement officer for eating meat?
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