A group of activists is calling for more accountability by the Miami Beach Police Department following disturbing videos of officers beating two men in a hotel lobby.
The group stood outside of the Miami Beach Police headquarters and called for the firing of the five officers who were charged with misdemeanor battery following the arrests of two people at the Royal Palm Hotel last week.
“We get arrested. Not only do we lose our jobs, but we damn sure don’t get paid,” said Lyle Muhammad, the executive director of the Circle of Brotherhood. “If any one of us would’ve done this, you would’ve already seen our mugshots and seen us being walked away in handcuffs. People need to see officers in handcuffs."
The State Attorney's Office says the incident started during the arrest of 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup. Police say Crudup ran from police into the hotel after they say he hit an officer with his scooter.
“If you view that video, you would see that the entire battalion jumped that young man. Now he allegedly did something that affronted the police, but the police should be held to a higher standard,” said DC Clarke, an activist.
The video also shows officers arresting and one officer punching 28-year-old Khalid Vaughn, who was recording the officers with his cellphone. Charges against Vaughn were ultimately dropped.
The officers are currently suspended with pay. They were processed and booked on Monday but not jailed because the charges are misdemeanors.
“You’re paying someone after seeing such a thing, and if you’re saying you can’t do it because of the union, let’s deal with the union," Muhammad said.
NBC 6 reached out to an attorney for the union representing the officers but haven’t heard back. Activists say they believe there’s a pattern of misconduct within the department and that something must change.
“These charges are as weak as church water wine,” said Muhammad.