NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida man said police officers used excessive force while detaining his girlfriend in the parking lot of a strip mall, and when he intervened, they beat him so hard that they knocked out his teeth.
Cellphone video captured the moment a Miami-Dade Police officer pulled out his gun and pointed it at members of a group at the shopping plaza, located along Northeast Sixth Avenue in Northeast Miami-Dade, Monday.
Inches away from the officer who had his gun drawn, officers had pinned Byjon Losier to the ground. He spoke to 7News about the tough takedowns on Wednesday.
He said officers grabbed his girlfriend, RaQueRia Dowdell, and threw her on the ground.
“[They] beat and dropped her on the floor,” he said.
“They grabbed her by the chest and pulled her on the floor,” said witness Jeffrey Baptiste.
Witnesses said the tense moments went down after officers asked the group if they could search them for guns. The group said they allowed the search and were clean.
After the officers’ search came up empty, witnesses said, Losier’s girlfriend questioned them, and that’s when the situation deteriorated.
Witnesses took out their cellphones and began recording when, they said, officers roughly detained Dowdell.
Losier said he intervened.
“One of them punched me right there,” he said as he touched the back of his neck.
Losier said he lost several upper front teeth, his face was gashed, and skin was ripped from his lower leg.
Losier said the beating also left him with bruises all over his body.
“They were being real aggressive,” said Baptiste.
But investigators said the arrestee left out the part where Dowdell intervened with police business, yelling at officers and allegedly punching one of them.
Just before she was handcuffed, the arrest report states, she was “yelling profanities … causing a disturbance/breach of the peace.”
Once apprehended, the arrest report further states, Dowdell “punched [the] detective in the face … multiple times.”
Moments later, as witnesses recorded him on video, one of the officers grabbed his pistol.
“He just took [out] his gun,” he said.
Baptiste said the officer pointed the firearm at him, even though he did not do anything physical or make any threats. He also wasn’t arrested or charged.
“When he was holding the gun sideways, he’s not even paying attention,” he said. “He could have accidentally shot me, and then what were you going to say?”
Police arrested Dowdell and charged her with battery on an officer. Losier was charged with resisting arrest without violence. They have since bonded out of jail.
A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Police said officers with the department’s Intracoastal Unit were working a crime suppression detail that night to address complaints of drug dealing and loitering at the strip mall.
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