Two law enforcement experts say there was "clear brutality" by Miami Beach officers who are now facing charges after prosecutors said they were caught on camera beating two men in a hotel lobby.
NBC 6 had the experts take a look at the videos released by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to explain what went wrong and how incidents like it can be prevented moving forward.
The arrests in the lobby of the Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach last week turned into what the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office calls an unlawful act by police when Officer Kevin Perez started kicking 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup even after Crudup's already handcuffed and on the ground.
Police were chasing Crudup, who they say injured an officer by hitting him with a scooter.
"What we see is clear brutality," said Michael D'Angelo, a retired South Miami police captain and security consultant. "Clearly in the videotape at the time the subject is down on the ground, there are multiple officers, they clearly had the upper hand."
Keith Taylor, a former assistant commissioner for the New York City Department of Corrections and current adjunct professor at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, also looked at the videos.
"If someone is kicking an individual in the head that’s a clear sign some interaction has to take place,” said Taylor.
According to Taylor, while it’s troubling no officer steps in to stop their fellow officers' actions, not all of the officers may have realized what was happening.
“That does not mean all officers knew what was going on or agreed with the violence that was occurring,” he said. “When you have multiple officers arriving you have less coordination."
As far as the arrest of 28-year-old Khalid Vaughn, who was in the lobby of the hotel recording what was happening, a new ordinance passed by the City of Miami Beach prohibits civilians from being within 20 feet of “an officer engaged in lawful duty” after being given a warning.
It’s unclear how that ordinance could affect the case. But the charges against Vaughn have already been dropped, Fernandez Rundle said.
The experts also said it’s important to highlight it was a member of the police department who alerted police leadership to what happened.
In all, five officers are facing misdemeanor battery charges, but those charges could be upgraded if new evidence is found during the course of the investigation, Fernandez Rundle said.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Dr. Keith Taylor was a former assistant commissioner for the New York City Police Department. He is a former Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Department of Correction.