In a terrifying witness video uploaded to Facebook early Monday morning, Delray Beach police are seen surrounding a handcuffed man and allowing their police dog to maul his face outside a South Florida bar.
Palermo was at work, bartending across the street when he witnessed five police vehicles stop. He stated that they all ran out of their cars as he ran out of the bar and began recording.
“It’s like fucking four on one!” Another witness is heard shouting.
“Stop fighting with us!” A police officer yells.
The officer continues to yell at the handcuffed man to “stop fighting with us,” as witnesses express their horror about what they are seeing. Palermo explained to PINAC that the man was face down on the ground as police were yelling that he was fighting.
“The man is face down on the side walk with multiple cops on top of him when the police repetitively yell ‘stop fighting with us’ however it did not look like he was trying to fight the cops it looked more as if he was just trying to breathe,” Palermo told PINAC.
“I couldn’t see the man fighting with police, it looked more to me that he was just trying to get some air. Unfortunately the video uploaded to Facebook lost quality, so it’s a little hard to see. But the cops for repetitively punching and kicking this man, and when they got him in cuffs they had the police dog bite him which I don’t think was right, especially if he’s already in cuffs.”
A Delray Beach police car pulls up as the police dog barks at the restrained man. They let the dog go as witnesses scream in horror for the police to stop the attack.
Palermo stated the following on Facebook:
Now I don’t know why the police were call or what this guy did that made the police go after him but from what I saw he was clearly unarmed, 6 police officers tackled him to the floor and repetitively punched and kicked him, and to make matters worse they did the K-9 unit to come out and after the man in already in handcuffs they let the dog go at it on his face.
Palermo also stated on Facebook that after the attack, the man was taken into an ambulance clearly very injured.
“After the video stopped the ambulance came and from what I saw the man was not moving and was bleeding out badly.
According to the witness, the man appeared to be in his twenties and had dark skin. Palermo was not asked any questions about what he saw, or spoke to by the police other than them telling him to move back, as he was closer before he began recording.
“Our bar is half outside half inside and this incident happened across the street from my job so when I saw the police cars racing immediately ran over and saw a man against the wall and saw at least 6 cops slam into him and tackle him to the ground. That’s when they told me to move back. And I started recording” Palermo told PINAC.
After uploading the video, Palermo was met with comments from people who both agreed and disagreed with it being shared. One comment in particular stuck out from someone named Allie Rodriguez, who does not seem to pay attention to the news.
“Ok but since when has sharing a video on your friends list done anything either lol, you’re not starting any reform here. Your 19 year old peers aren’t going to get anything accomplished either. I can’t even tell what’s going on in the video so I promise you this is going to go as far as a few angry teenager comments and then it’ll be forgotten about” Rodriguez commented, also telling Palermo that he should have just sent the video to the police.
What Rodriguez failed to realize, is that video is allowing officers to be held accountable.
“From 2005 to 2011, there were 46 cases of cops being charged for on-duty killings of any kind––6.5 cases per year on average. The 14 officers charged over the past five months works out to an annualized rate of 33.6 cases per year, or more than five times the usual rate,” Conor Friedersdorf noted.
With the public becoming more and more aware of these abuses, and protests have filled global headlines since the death of Michael Brown last August, the screams for change are becoming harder to ignore, and filming the police is one of the best tools we have to force accountability.
Editor’s note: Although Palermo mentioned on video that the officers were from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the car that pulled up was a Delray Beach police car and uniforms the cops were wearing were dark blue instead of forest green, which is worn by the sheriff’s office. Delray Beach is a coastal municipality in Palm Beach County, so there is a possibility that sheriff’s deputies were also part of the arrest. CM