Man With Gun Shouts Racial Slurs During Protest on MLK Day

Miami-Dade State Attorney says hate crimes unit investigating

A man was arrested after a video shows him pulling a gun and yelling racial slurs at a group of riders protesting housing inequality in Brickell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Local non-profit organization the Dream Defenders tweeted the cellphone video that was filmed at around 5 p.m. by a member who wished to remain anonymous. It shows a woman fighting with a group of riders in the area of Brickell Avenue and 8th Street.

In a portion of the video, you can hear the woman yell, "You just ran over me, you just ran over my foot" at one of the bicyclists.

A short time later, a driver walks towards the group of bicyclists holding what appears to be a gun and yelled racial slurs at the group.

According to the Dream Defenders, the group was out protesting the demolition of public housing in Liberty Square, saying the city sold their homes to private developers without the input of the community. The protest, part of a community organization Bikes Up, Guns Down Boys and Girls, coincided with the annual "Wheels Up, Guns Down" rideout that happens annually on MLK Day.

The movement, meant to raise awareness about gun violence, has created more of a traffic headache for residents. Law enforcement in Broward and Miami-Dade counties have arrested dozens of people over the past few days since riders on ATVs and dirt bikes took over the South Florida roads on Friday.

“Everyone should be alarmed at what happened today. Anytime someone takes a firearm, approaches a scene of people and displays that firearm while yelling racial epithets should be upset,” said Miami city commissioner Keon Hardemon.

Miami police have confirmed the male in the video, identified as 51-year-old Mark Bartlett, was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He was booked into jail and later released on bond, and attorney information wasn't available.

NBC 6 has not been able to confirm the identities of the people shown in the video as of Monday night.

According to an arrest report, a witness said they saw Bartlett involved in a verbal altercation with several juveniles on bicycles who were blocking traffic. At one point, Bartlett grabbed a gun from his car, and the juveniles began to flee, the report said.

Officers stopped Bartlett a short time later and found the loaded gun in the car, the report said. Bartlett told officers he didn't have a valid Florida conceal carry permit, and said he didn't know he needed one, the report said.

"Why am I being arrested, when those kids are free to ride around," Bartlett told the officers, according to the report. "I did pull out my gun but I never pointed it at them."

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Tuesday that she has assigned the chief of her hate crimes unit to investigate.

"I am outraged at the reported acts depicted in the videos taken during this incident," Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "I am committed to filing the appropriate charges and to vigorously prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law."

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