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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Miami Beach cop sidelined after punching unarmed man in restaurant


Police officer knocks out man at Miami Beach hotel 
Miami Beach police officer Adriel Dominguez has been taken off of patrol duties after another officer leaked video to the Miami Herald of Dominguez punching an unarmed homeless man in a restaurant.
The video was leaked by officer Frederick Dominguez (who is not related to Adriel) who was not at the scene but later obtained a copy of the video and was troubled by how the footage differed from the police report.

What the video shows: The video shows the victim, Lowell Poitier Jr., a homeless man from Orlando, grabbing something from a menu stand and walking around the restaurant. Someone says "watch yourself bud."
Poitier then approaches Dominguez and says "What? What?" At that point, Dominguez punches Poitier in the face, knocking him to the ground.

What did the police report say? According to the police report, the incident began with Poitier acting in a disruptive manner in the restaurant and refusing to leave, and hurling some vulgarities at women in the establishment.
When officers confronted Poitier, the report said, he became agitated, called them "crackers" and clenched his fist and took a fighting stance, leaning into Domiguez's face. The report said Dominguez punched Poitier because he feared for his safety.

The mayor's reaction: Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said "I had the same gut reaction anyone would have" to the video. "But we must allow for a thorough investigation. The officer has been put on desk duty pending review."

What happens now? Poitier was taken to a local hospital for treatment for a cut lip. He was charged with misdemeanor assault on a police officer, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct. Prosecutors will have to decide whether they want to drop the charges due to the video, and whether to charge Dominguez for the punch.

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