What to Know
- The initial incident happened outside a restaurant at the Pelican Hotel on Ocean Drive almost 2 years ago
- Cell phone video released by a Miami Beach Police Officer appeared to show a fellow officer, Adriel Dominguez, punching an unarmed black man
- The officer, Alfredo Garcia, who recorded his body cam video on his cell phone, was given a written warning for violating police policy of releasing unauthorized video
Cell phone video released by a Miami Beach Police Officer in 2018 appeared to show a fellow officer, Adriel Dominguez, punching an unarmed black man, Lowell Poitier, knocking him out cold.
Dominguez was suspended during an internal affairs investigation for hitting Poitier, but in October 2019, prosecutors cleared Dominguez of any wrongdoing.
Recently, the officers who leaked the video were reprimanded instead.
“They did the right thing in order to protect our community, and gave over this clear and convincing evidence to their supervisors, and they are reprimanded. So, what kind of message are we sending,” said Attorney David Kubiliun who represents Lowell Poitier.
The officer, Alfredo Garcia, who recorded his body cam video on his cell phone, was given a written warning for violating police policy of releasing unauthorized video.
“God forbid other police officers like Frederick Dominguez came forward and exposed this and didn’t think what was happening was correct,” said attorney Michael Pizzi.
Attorney Michael Pizzi represents Officer Frederick Dominguez who sent a copy of the video to him and sought whistleblower protection. That officer was hit with a 10-hour suspension.
“Why should Fred Dominguez have to hire lawyers, appeal suspensions and still be miserable two years later when all he did was tell the truth and expose what is a national problem,” said attorney Pizzi.
Pizzi says the officer he represents plans to fight the suspension.
The initial incident happened outside a restaurant at the Pelican Hotel on Ocean Drive almost 2 years ago.
According to the arrest report, restaurant managers called police on Poitier for disturbing patrons.
Poitier was initially charged with resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct. Last July, those charges were dropped by the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Attorney David Kubiliun, who represents Lowell Poitier, says they are not done fighting.
“We still have another avenue in the civil route. We will be filing a lawsuit against City of Miami Beach and City of Miami Beach Police Department in the near future,” said Kubiliun.
We reached out to the Miami Beach Police Department and the City of Miami Beach and they had the following statement on this case:
“I am satisfied with the State Attorney’s findings from 2019 where they deemed that Officer Adriel Dominguez had the right to protect himself from a perceived threat. I am equally satisfied with the subsequent outcome of our thorough Internal Affairs investigation. I am a firm believer in holding officers accountable for inappropriate actions. I also believe in holding accountable those who come into contact with our officers and pose a threat to their safety,” said Chief Richard Clements of the Miami Beach Police Department.
“The 10-hour suspension for Officer Frederick Dominguez is a recommendation for discipline from the Police Department’s Disciplinary Panel. Final discipline will be determined after Officer Dominguez is afforded the opportunity to have what is called a predetermination hearing. The purpose of the predetermination hearing is for Officer Dominguez to present any information to the City to warrant a possible change in the recommended discipline. Any actual discipline will be determined by the Police Department in conjunction with the City Manager’s Office after the predetermination hearing. Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Police Union, Officer Dominguez can appeal any discipline that is ultimately handed down,” said Jimmy Morales, City Manager with the City of Miami Beach.