Florida cops brutally beat illiterate homeless man — then had him sign an affidavit saying he wasn't beaten: report
Police car lights (Shutterstock)

Two Florida police officers have been charged with kidnapping a homeless man and beating him while he was handcuffed for no lawful reason — and that homeless man was later tricked into signing an affidavit saying he wasn't beaten, even though he couldn't read, reported The Daily Beast.

"Rafael Otano, 27, and 22-year-old Lorenzo Orfila responded to a disturbance call at a shopping plaza Dec. 17 where they handcuffed homeless man Jose Ortega-Gutierrez and put him in a Hialeah Police car, despite surveillance footage not showing any reason for him to be detained, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle," reported Alec Karam. "The cops then took him to an isolated location and proceeded to beat him while he was still handcuffed, Fernandez Rundle said. Ortega-Gutierrez said he woke up bloody and freed from the handcuffs, and reported the alleged assault to police."

According to the report, Ortega-Gutierrez "was allegedly asked days later to sign an affidavit that said he’d been arrested for drinking and wasn’t beaten by police," even though he doesn't know how to read in English or Spanish. "The man who gave him that affidavit, 45-year-old Ali Amin Saleh, has also been arrested on charges of tampering with the victim," said the report.

Otano and Orfila were terminated by the mayor of Hialeah on Thursday at the same time of their arrest.

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This comes after years of heightened scrutiny on excessive force incidents by police around the country, with one of the most infamous being the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which resulted in a murder conviction against one officer and multiple others pleading guilty to manslaughter, on top of other state and federal charges.

Another high-profile case is emerging in Memphis, where Tyre Nichols was killed in a traffic stop for alleged reckless driving. Five former officers involved in that incident were charged with murder today, and video footage of the incident is expected to be released on Friday.