Caught on Camera

Opa-locka Police Officers, City Facing Suit in Teen's 2020 Arrest Seen in Video

Attorney claims police used excessive force in 2020 arrest of 19-year-old

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The City of Opa-locka and officers with the city's police department are facing a federal lawsuit in connection with the 2020 arrest of a teen that was caught on camera.

Police body camera footage captured the September 2020 arrest of then 19-year-old Jasef Castro-Reyes by Opa-locka officers after family members called police to report that he was acting erratic and violent.

When officers arrived at his apartment, Castro-Reyes had been tied with wire and extension cables by his family members, the footage showed.

The footage also showed officers trying to handcuff Castro-Reyes before they used a Taser on him multiple times. Officers were also filmed dragging Castro-Reyes down some stairs, before he was eventually taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Attorney Michael Pizzi, who filed the lawsuit this week on Castro-Reyes' behalf, said his client was left with permanent injuries and claims officers used excessive force.

"The Opa-locka Police treated a mentally challenged teenager, Jasef Castro, worse than you would treat an animal," Pizzi said Wednesday. "They stun-gunned him, punched him in the face, beat him up. It's absolutely horrible what they did to him."

NBC 6 has reached out to the city for comment on the lawsuit and is waiting to hear back.

Shortly after the incident, the city released photos showing officers' injured eyes and hands from the incident. Officials also said drug paraphernalia was found in the apartment.

An administrative review later determined that officers were in compliance with department policy during the incident.

Contact Us