A Florida police officer is under fire after a video surfaced this week of him kicking a handcuffed suspect on the head during an arrest.
The video, apparently captured by a woman nearby, shows a male suspect lying on the ground with his hands behind his back as a City of Miami police officer is handcuffing him.
A second officer is seen coming into the screen, running toward the suspect and kicking him in the head before grabbing him and holding him to the ground.
“You ain’t have to do all that, buddy,” the woman can be heard saying in the recording.
Authorities said the incident was triggered after the suspect, identified as 31-year-old David Suazo, ran from police after he stole a vehicle.
Suazo allegedly led police on a chase that ended in a housing complex.
Witnesses said once he was cornered by police inside the complex, Suazo cooperated and did not resist arrest.
“He stopped, put his hand on his back, got on this knees, and then the guy told him: ‘Lay down. Lay down,’” the woman who recorded the video told WSVN. “He laid down. Once he laid down, that’s when he handcuffed him and the other person just comes and runs right at him and kicks him. That man should get fired. That police [officer] should get fired.”
It's unclear when the incident happened.
The officer, identified as Mario Figueroa, has been stripped of his badge and relieved from duty amid an internal investigation, WSVN reported.
Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said in a statement that the video “depicts a clear violation of policy,” while the Miami-Dade County State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, said she was “shocked and appalled” by what she saw in the video.
Lazaria Celestine, Suazo’s mother, told WSVN that she wants justice for her son.
“It’s a big pain in my heart,” she told the station. “Because he is my son. I carried him in my womb for nine months. To treat my son like this – not even a dog is treated like that. He abused his authority because he is police. He think he a god? No!”
Suazo has be charged with grand theft and is being held at Turner Guildford Knight Correctional Center.