Accusations of police brutality are now being leveled at a South Florida police department, after video caused an uproar on social media.
Witnesses are accusing Delray Beach Police of beating and kicking a man, before letting a police dog loose on him.
The incident happened along Southeast 2nd Street near Atlantic Avenue.
According to the police report, the suspect had already hit and shoved an officer, was aggressive and belligerent to club staff, and that’s why police tried to arrest him.
Commands from police were followed quickly by barks from a police K-9 as Delray Beach Police officers tried to take a man into custody.
The video shows the K-9 at the edge of the sidewalk during the scuffle to put the man in cuffs.
“They weren’t able to handcuff him, his hands were underneath his body. I can tell you those aren’t good situations for officers when hands are not seen. The guy had already punched an officer, they’ve asked him to remove his hands from his body, he didn’t do it,” said Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman.
That’s when Chief Goldman said the K-9 was deployed and bit the suspect on the arm.
Nick Palermo is the one who caught it all on camera. He said he posted the video on social media looking for opinions, and what he got was a firestorm. Some called it police brutality which the chief said is wrong.
“These are things that concern me. That people would say those things that didn’t happen. There is no police brutality there,” Chief Goldman said.
The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old Mason Courson. He’s now facing charges of battery on an officer, resisting arrest, intoxication and marijuana possession.
The video has caused such an uproar, the police chief said his dispatchers have received threats to officers over the phone. He said those are being investigated.
Police chief Goldman also said he is standing by his officers’ actions.