Crime

Man accuses Miami police of pummeling him

Brian White is shown in this video from Univision. A video obtained by Univision’s Channel 23 shows police running toward the car where 27-year-old Brian White was a passenger and subduing him. Miami Police said they are investigating.
Brian White is shown in this video from Univision. A video obtained by Univision’s Channel 23 shows police running toward the car where 27-year-old Brian White was a passenger and subduing him. Miami Police said they are investigating. COURTESTY OF Univision

A Miami police report stemming from a July 2 traffic stop says 27-year-old Brian White, a passenger in a car Miami police chased to a parking lot, stood up, fought police with his hands and feet and resisted arrest.

White, through a bruised face and two black eyes, told Univision’s Channel 23 a different story, one captured on parking lot surveillance camera video that Univision obtained. He said several officers grabbed him from the car, threw him to the ground and pummeled him.

“I was so afraid and shocked because of the pursuit I didn’t know what to do,’’ White told Univision, translated from Spanish by The Herald. “They took me out of the car. Threw me on the ground. And at that moment they started hitting me. I did everything they told me to do. I had my hands up and they took me out of the car and started hitting me. I never resisted. I never hit an officer. I never pushed them or did anything.”

Miami police said Tuesday they were investigating the allegation.

"We are aware of the situation, however, no one has actually made a formal complaint with our internal affairs section although they are looking into the situation," said Miami Police Major Delrish Moss, commander of the Public Information/Community Relations Section.

The confrontation, first reported by Univision Monday evening, began after the car in which White was riding didn’t stop as police attempted to flag it down. White’s mother, Alexandra Yehia, told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 the driver feared stopping for police because his license was suspended.

When the driver did pull the car into a parking lot, the video shows the driver emerging with his hands up, then lying prone on the ground. Trees, shadows and carport covers partially shroud what happens as White gets out of the car. But several police officers clearly run toward White, then subdue him energetically as a group, according to the video.

They “kicked him, beat him and punch him — seven police officers. They took turns,’’ White’s mother told CBS4. “They celebrated like it was a party. This is something that I never expected — for police to act this way.’’

The police report said White, who was charged with resisting officers with violence, “refused to comply with the officers’ verbal commands. (White) was taken by force out of the car and continued to physically resist. (White) refused to place his hands behind his back and was kicking his legs, attempting to strike the officer and keep the officer from getting close to him.

“While physically resisting, the defendant stood up to his feet and grabbed the officer’s shirt,” the report continued. “The defendant violently pushed the officer as he continued to resist and tried to get away from the officers trying to arrest him. The defendant was ultimately taken into custody. The defendant was arrested and transported.”

White’s mother said she didn’t buy that: “If he did something bad, they would have taken him out of the car and put him with the handcuffs and question him before they abused him,” she told CBS4.

White has been arrested twice before. His 2007 charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession were dismissed as were his 2010 charges of felony marijuana possession and misdemeanor trespass.

White has retained an attorney.

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