Miami cop 'relieved of duty' hours after being caught on video kicking a handcuffed man in the head
Viral video of a Miami PD officer kicking a prone, handcuffed man in the head. Image via screengrab.

A Miami police officer has been suspended from the force less than 12 hours after a video of him kicking a handcuffed man in the head went viral.

The Miami New-Times reported Thursday that Miami Police Chief Jorge R. Garcia said a still-unnamed officer has been "relieved of duty" and may face an investigation after being caught on video handcuffing a man on the ground and then kicking him in the head. Garcia said in the statement that the officer's actions were "a clear violation policy."

Lisa Harrell, the woman who originally posted the video to Facebook, told the New-Times that she witnessed and recorded the incident at about 9:40 AM on Thursday morning in Overtown, a "majority-black neighborhood whose residents have complained for decades about overzealous and often brutal police tactics."

The video stars with a man on the ground as an officer handcuffs him. Seconds after being cuffed, another officer runs up and kicks him in the head and then moves to tackle the prone and bound man. Two more officers come up and appear to speak to the other two cops as a person in the background is heard yelling "they didn't have to do all that."

As the New-Times Jerry Iannelli pointed out, this is far from the first time MPD has come under fire for use of excessive force.

"Multiple videos published in 2018 have shown MPD officers choking suspects or grabbing them around the neck, for example," Iannelli wrote. "Just this week, the city's Civilian Investigative Panel, a group that probes complaints against the police (but lacks power to punish officers) ruled a group of Miami cops violated both departmental policy and Florida state law by strip-searching a woman in the middle of a busy Wynwood street."

Those MPD officers, he continued, were cleared of wrongdoing by the department.