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Suspect Kicked by Miami Police Officer Staying Behind Bars

A man who was filmed being kicked in the head by a Miami police officer moments after authorities say he led cops on a brief pursuit in a stolen car will be staying behind bars through at least the weekend following his appearance in court Friday.

David Suazo, 31 was charged with grand theft of a vehicle, fleeing or eluding a police officer, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license following Thursday's incident.

Suazo appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer, who set his bond at $16,000 on the four counts but said he would be held on two open probation warrants, one related to resisting an officer without violence and driving with a license suspended and the other involving a robbery and burglary with assault or battery, records showed.

Suazo is due back in court Monday on the warrant cases. Glazer appointed him a public defender.

The court appearance came a day after his arrest was caught on camera. The footage was captured inside the Culmer Apartment complex in the Overtown neighborhood around 10 a.m. Thursday and posted on social media. It shows the officer, identified as Mario Figueroa, running toward Suazo, who is handcuffed on the ground and appears to not be resisting arrest.

The officer kicks the man in the head before jumping on top as several other officers arrive to the scene.

An arrest report said Suazo had been spotted by officers driving a stolen Jeep Cherokee and when the officers tried to stop him, Suazo sped away, driving into the complex at a high rate of speed before reaching a dead end, where he lost control and hit a concrete wall.

Suazo ran off and there was a brief foot chase until Suazo reached a fenced-in field near Northwest 6th Avenue and 8th Street, the report said.

The report said Suazo took a "fighting stance," then tried to run away as officers told him to get on the ground. One of the officers used a Taser but it didn't stop Suazo, who continued to run before he was taken into custody, the report said.

"No matter what he did he was already on the ground handcuffed, he's no longer a threat to you or anybody, regardless of what it is he did he's no longer a threat," said Suazo's sister, Maritza Valerio.

After the footage was released, Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said it showed a "clear violation of policy" and said Figueroa had been suspended with pay while the incident was investigated.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said their public corruption unit has launched an investigation.

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