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Miami Cop Caught Kicking Handcuffed Suspect in the Head (VIDEO)

© Lisa Harrell/FacebookCity of Miami Police Department officer Mario Figueroa kicks a handcuffed suspect in the head while immobile.
City of Miami Police Department officer Mario Figueroa kicks a handcuffed suspect in the head while immobile. - Sputnik International
A City of Miami Police Department (MPD) officer has been suspended after kicking a suspect in the head while he was pinned face-down on the ground by another officer Thursday morning. The department responded to the incident about three and a half hours after it happened.

A bystander posted a video showing MPD Officer Mario Figueroa charging up at a man lying on his chest in the grass with an officer pinning him down. Figueroa gave the man a leaping kick straight to the head before turning around and dogpiling him.

"He was down already. Didn't have to kick him!!! I will not let this go unnoticed. He was not resisting arrest he got on his knees and put his hands on his head. He WILLINGLY LAID DOWN. That… kick was uncalled for!!" wrote Lisa Harrell, a bystander, when she uploaded the video to her Facebook.

​The video starts with the suspect already facing down on the ground, motionless. An officer stands by and tosses an unknown object to the ground before handcuffing the man. As he's restraining him, the other officer runs up for the kick. He then shoves the man's head as other officers arrive to restrain him.

It all went down in Overtown, a historically black neighborhood in Miami, around 9:40 a.m., according to Harrell. 

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"Today, the City of Miami Police Department received a video of an incident involving one of my officers," reads a 1:11 p.m. tweet by MPD and signed by Chief Jorge R. Colina. "The video depicts a clear violation of policy. The officer has been relieved of duty and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office has been contacted."

Figueroa has been with the MPD for two years, according to the department. He was suspended with pay, but MPD refused to release his Internal Affairs records or his salary. Internal affairs are the divisions within police departments that are tasked with investigating officers in cases of wrongdoing.

Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle — Miami's top prosecutor — announced at 4:20 p.m. that an investigation had been opened into the attack.

Rundle is known in the county for her lax prosecution in excessive force and police abuse cases.

In a press release, Rundle said, "I have watched today's Culmer Place video involving a uniformed City of Miami Police Officer and I was shocked and appalled by what I saw."

In 2018, Miami officers have been caught choking suspects or grabbing them by the neck in multiple videos, according to the Miami New Times. Meanwhile, a panel tasked with investigating complaints against officers, the Civilian Investigative Panel, ruled in early May that MPD officers broke the law and MPD policies when they removed a woman's pants during a strip search in broad daylight February 28, 2017.

MPD has been plagued by a slew of use-of-force complaints against them as well. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) released a damning report on the department in 2013 which claimed officers had "engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive use of force through officer-involved shootings in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution." The DoJ continues to monitor the department's treatment of people of color.

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