A man who made headlines when cell phone video showing a Miami Police officer allegedly punching him in the back seat of a car surfaced on social media won't face any charges, NBC 6 has learned.
Tony Zaldivar was facing two misdemeanor counts, one for disorderly conduct and the other for trespassing following his arrest in August. But now the Miami-Dade State Attorney has decided not to prosecute him on either charge and Zaldivar believes it shows he should have never been in the back seat of the police car in the first place.
Zaldivar, 26, said he was mistreated after he was arrested and placed in the back seat of a City of Miami Police car, where he says Officer John Hinson punched him for no reason.
"I was placed in handcuffs, I walked to the police car, I sat in the car, sat down, it was hot that day in the back of the car, and I got punched," Zaldivar told NBC 6 in an exclusive interview after his arrest.
Miami Police suspended Hinson once they saw the video and now NBC 6 learned on Wednesday that the charges that got Zaldivar arrested in the first place have officially both been dropped.
David Kubiliun, Zaldivar's attorney, said he's pleased with the outcome.
"This confirms what we have been saying all along that Mr. Zaldivar did absolutely nothing wrong to warrant his arrest," Kubiliun said. "We are extremely satisfied with the state attorney's investigation into this matter and their decision not to file charges against my client."
Miami Police said they were determined to find out exactly what happened here.
No longer facing criminal charges, Zaldivar does continue to examine his legal options against Officer Hinson and the department itself.
"We are now looking into the possibility of filing a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Miami Police Department," Kubiliun said.
Miami Police said that their investigation into the incident continues and the state attorney chose not to elaborate on its decision to terminate the case against Zaldivar.