A Miami-Dade Police officer has been placed on desk duty and an investigation is underway after he was recorded telling a Black man "this is how you guys get killed out here" during a traffic stop.
The traffic stop happened last Wednesday in North Miami Beach and video of the encounter is going viral, with some saying the officer was threatening the man's life and others saying maybe the officer was talking about how not wearing a seatbelt can kill you.
The driver, Gerardson Nicolas, said the interaction took place while he was driving to work. He admitted he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt when he was stopped on Northeast 159th Street near 18th Avenue.
"Give me your driver’s license, registration and insurance. If not you will not be going to work today. Simple thing man. This is how you guys get killed out here man," the officer tells him.
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"What? Say that again? Say what you just said," Nicolas responds in the video.
"Registration and insurance," the officer responds.
Nicolas said he started recording because he was scared for his life.
"I was scared, I was scared. I didn’t think my life was going to make it," he told NBC 6 on Monday. "When he asked me for my license, open the door, I started recording. I was looking for my stuff, my license because I didn’t see my wallet. I was looking for my wallet and that wasn’t my car, that was my mom’s car and I didn’t know where the registration was, I was looking, looking. He got mad."
In a statement, Miami-Dade Police said Interim Director George A. Perez initiated an internal affairs investigation after learning of the video.
The department said they're reviewing 30 minutes of body camera footage and other evidence.
The officer was moved from patrol duty to desk duty amid the investigation, the department said.
"Rest assured we are committed to transparency and community trust and will address all matters of public concern equitably, fairly, and in accordance with applicable laws," the department's statement read.