Miami cop’s punches to be investigated after all

 

jbrown@MiamiHerald.com

An internal affairs investigation has been launched by Miami police two days after a veteran police detective was caught on video pummeling a grief-stricken family member who had stormed a crime scene.

Detective Fernando Bosch, 48, remains on full duty during the inquiry to determine whether his use of force was justified, according Miami police spokesman Freddie Cruz.

“We can’t determine by the video,’’ Cruz said.

A day earlier, police had indicated there was no investigation.

The episode happened Monday afternoon at Northwest Third Avenue and 22nd Street after a 25-year-old was sprayed with bullets as he was riding his bike. As police tended to the murder scene, the victim’s two brothers crossed the yellow police line and scuffled with police. One of the brothers was placed in a headlock and shoved back by Bosch, who slugged him four times in the process.

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa declined to comment Wednesday, as did Bosch, citing the pending investigation.

A debate over the detective’s actions continued, even in the law enforcement community. On Tuesday, a veteran South Florida police officer, now a consultant on law enforcement practices such as excessive force, said what Bosch did appears from the video to be out of line with what was necessary to subdue Walker.

“Once an officer uses force, he is supposed to de-escalate the force as the suspect de-escalates his resistance, said consultant Chuck Drago, a former assistant chief in Fort Lauderdale. “Instead, we see the officer pushing and hitting him when at that point he doesn’t appear to be resisting.’’

On Wednesday, another veteran retired police commander weighed in, saying Bosch didn’t have time to reason with a man who, for all he knew, could have been armed or been aiming to disarm one of the officers.

“It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback,’’ said retired Miami Sgt. Robert Rambo, a training instructor who spent 20 years with Miami police’s SWAT team.

“This happened real quickly, and you have to remember, you don’t have time to reason and talk to people especially when they are being aggressive,’’ said Rambo, who helped train Bosch when he began his career.

“In my opinion, what Bosch did was not wrong,’’ Rambo said.

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