The man in the video that shows a Miami Beach police officer knocking him unconscious spoke out about the punch, claiming he did nothing at that restaurant to deserve being knocked out.
Another Miami Beach officer came forward last week with the video of the Dec. 3 incident at the Pelican Hotel that shows the encounter between Officer Adriel Dominguez and Lowell Poitier. Police say restaurant management claimed Poitier was acting irate, screaming, cursing and calling patrons names.
Poitier tells NBC 6 otherwise in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
“That’s the police calling me a (expletive). Bam! And at that point they are laughing at me,” Poitier said as he watched the video. “That’s no way for law enforcement to handle themselves. That is something that you would see a child or adolescent that doesn’t know any better, not for somebody that is supposed to be a representative of the city.”
The police report says Poitier approached Dominguez in an “aggressive manner,” clenched his fists and took a fighting stance.
“It’s completely false,” Poitier told NBC 6. “No, I did not take a fighting stance. I was asking him what was going on.”
In the video, someone is heard saying "watch yourself bud, watch yourself f---ing pu--y" before Dominguez punches Poitier in the face. "Ofc. Dominguez in fear for his safety struck (Poitier) with a closed fist punch with his right hand," the report said.
“Just because someone has a badge doesn’t give them the right to do what they have don’t in this case,” said Poitier’s attorney David Kubiliun.
Kubiliun wants the state attorney’s office to drop Poitier’s misdemeanor charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and instead look at charging Dominguez, who Miami Beach police say has been relieved of patrol duties and reassigned until further notice.
“Well I think the officer who punched my client in the face and knocked him out wasn’t thinking clearly when that arrest affidavit was written because again, there is clear evidence that what’s written in that affidavit is false,” Kubiliun said.
The police chief says there is an internal investigation underway. The police union said in a statement last week that it is standing behind Dominguez, saying his actions were justified in the “dangerous confrontation with an agitated, angry and physically aggressive defendant.”
Michael Pizzi, the attorney representing the officer who came forward with the video, says his client wants whistle-blower protection from the city.
"He is shocked that this could happen and someone could get away with it. He is very sad," Pizzi said. "He's a dedicated police officer. He was very sad."
Poitier left his family near Jacksonville and came to South Florida for construction work. He says he is upset with the way police described him in the arrest report, claiming they depicted him as a homeless person causing trouble on South Beach.
Poitier says he is still suffering the effects of the punch.
“Some days when I am at work, I get dizzy spells,” he said. “I have had to go to the hospital twice in between.”