Two Florida police officers say they were justified in repeatedly kicking a black man sitting on a curb following an altercation outside an Orlando nightclub.
Noel Carter, a 30-year-old banker from the Miami area, filed an affidavit Wednesday asking the state to bring battery charges against the two off-duty officers who were moonlighting as security guards.
Carter said he was arguing Friday with a woman he knew outside the club when the officers intervened, but he denies that he was intoxicated and said their assistance was not necessary.
A nightclub employee reported the altercation to officers David Cruz and Charles Mays, who said Carter was trying to grab the woman to keep her from walking away, reported CNN.
The woman, who was crying, told the officers Carter was drunk and upset because she had ended their relationship of two years.
The officers said Carter told them they would not stop him from talking to the woman, and the officers said they then tried to place him in handcuffs.
Carter resisted, the officers said, and Mays sprayed him in the face with chemical irritant.
Police said Carter tried to grab Cruz’s Tasers after the officers shocked him three times, so he again blasted the man’s face with pepper spray.
At that point, CNN reported, Carter broke free and ran about 100 feet before sitting down on the curb, his eyes still burning from the pepper spray.
Officers caught up to him moments later, and Cruz struck him five times in the arm with a baton.
Cruz then tried to restrain Carter, who stood up and then sat back down – which caused the officer to scrape his elbow and knee.
That’s when Cruz began repeatedly kicking Carter, who was still seated on the curb, as Mays shocked him again with a Taser.
Carter then rolled onto his stomach and placed his hands behind his back.
At least three videos of the incident were recorded, although none of them show the entire event.
Carter said the officers “literally beat me like a dog in the street,” but the police chief said he saw no reason to suspend either officer or stop them from working off-duty security jobs.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said the videos don’t show that Carter was drunk and uncooperative, and he said the officers properly intervened in what they saw as a potential domestic violence case.
However, the chief said the officers remain under investigation by internal affairs.
Carter’s attorney and a bystander who recorded one of the videos said the officers were wrong to continue beating the man after he sat down on the curb.
“That right there was unacceptable, and for me — recording that — I don’t have to see what happened,” said a woman who witnessed the incident. “That was not OK.”
Carter said the police reports were riddled with falsehoods, but his attorney said it should not matter if officers claim her client lunged at them or otherwise believed he presented a threat.
“The police department is not trained to beat, punch, kick, Tase people who are in a submissive position,” said attorney Natalie Jackson. “There’s nowhere in the training matrix that you will ever see that.”
Watch this video report posted online by CNN: