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Video: Miami police officer fired for brutal kick to handcuffed suspect's head

A Miami Police Department officer was fired after a video posted on Facebook showed him kicking a suspect who was laying on the ground in handcuffs. (Image source: Facebook video screenshot)

A Miami Police Department officer was fired after a video posted on Facebook showed him kicking a suspect in the head while he was lying on the ground in handcuffs, WFOR-TV reported.

"He's on the ground and the other officer just came and kicks him like a football player, he just kicks his head like he's a football player," said the woman who recorded the video, who told WFOR she didn't want to be identified.

What happened?

According to The Washington Post, the incident took place at around 9 a.m., when officers spotted a man driving a vehicle that had been reported as stolen.

Officers attempted to pull the man over, but he sped up once they turned their lights and sirens on.

He eventually crashed in a dead end and fled on foot. Officers chased him down and tried to use a stun gun on him, to no avail. The man ended up following verbal commands to get on the ground, at which point they handcuffed him.

Once one officer handcuffs the man, and then another officer, Mario Figuerroa, comes into the screen and kicks the suspect in the head with a running start.

The suspect, David Suazo, was charged with vehicle theft, fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, and resisting an officer without violence.

What was the reaction to the video?

The woman who shot the video told WFOR she was surprised that she witnessed the incident.

"In my mind I was just like in shock," she said. "I was like 'Are you serious, you really just kicked this man and he's helpless.' He's not resisting arrest or anything like that. Why are you really doing all of that?"

Suazo's sister, Maritza Valerio, said police told the family nothing happened during the arrest.

"I go home and saw it on Facebook and God, there's the video of what the sergeant on the scene alleged didn't happen, which is my brother being on the ground already handcuffed and being kicked in the face by another officer," Valerio said.

What did Miami police say?

Chief Jorge Colina issued a statement:

"On today's date the City of Miami Police Department received a video on an incident involving one of my officers. This video depicts a clear violation of policy. The officer has been relieved of duty and the Miami-Dade state attorney office has been contacted."

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