Miami police union: Force necessary to subdue passenger

Brian White
Brian White CBS-4

The Fraternal Order of Police’s Miami Lodge issued a statement of support for Miami police officers accused of beating 27-year-old Brian White after a traffic stop last Thursday, a statement that also wagged a finger at local media that reported on the incident.

Whatever happened occurred after police tried to stop a Mercedes suspected of having been used in a bank robbery, according to White’s arrest affadavit. The Mercedes driver, worried about being caught driving on a suspended license, according to White’s mother, kept going until pulling into a parking lot near Northwest 33rd Avenue and 11th Street.

“Defendant Brian White was physically fighting with Miami police officers after participating as a passenger in a high-speed pursuit. Our Miami police officers utilized an appropriate level of force to gain control of him,” read the statement from Lt. Javier Ortiz, lodge president.

Ortiz felt the surveillance camera video obtained by Univision’s WLTV-Channel 23 and shown with its Monday report vindicated the officers:

“…using physical force on anyone will never show to be attractive or pretty. The video clearly shows defendant White struggling with police while the driver gave up peacefully and followed police directives.”

White was charged with two felonies, resisting arrest with violence, and battery on a law enforcement officer.

White spoke on camera to WLTV with black eyes, highlighting a face that had taken several blows. His mother, Alexandra Yehia, spoke with Miami Herald news partner CBS4 and accused officers of abusing her son and celebrating “like it was a party.” The Herald’s story quoted both interviews.

“The media is creative in capturing stories to make it appear an ‘us vs. them’ [police against the community] mentality by placing a man’s mother on television so the common citizen could maybe relate to the matter,” Ortiz’s statement read. “The fact of the matter is that defendant White’s mother wasn’t there. Most mothers want to believe their children are angels. People make mistakes. On July 2, her adult son made an unfortunate mistake.”