FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials in Fort Lauderdale are investigating bodycam footage that shows officers making jokes after rubber bullets were fired into a crowd of protesters. It is the same protest where a woman was hit in the face by one.
“Get ready,” said one officer.
Back on May 31, Fort Lauderdale police officers, armed with tear gas and rubber bullets, were assigned to keep protesters out of the department’s garage located at Southeast First Avenue and Second Street.
“Watch that, watch that, watch that,” said an officer. “*Gunshot* *Gunshot* *Gunshot* Did he go? Eat it, motherf***ers.”
New bodycam video from the encounter, first published by the Miami Herald, showed nearly nine minutes of the encounter.
“Throw it back, b****. Throw it back,” said one officer. “If he picks up the gas, I’ll pop his a**.”
There were tension-filled moments, as officers deployed tear gas several times, and some protesters were seen throwing live canisters back at them.
There were also moments where officers seem to joke about the protesters, including one that begins with an apparent check to see if the camera is on.
“Are you rolling?” asked one officer.
“Yeah I’m on standby. Did you see me f*** that motherf***er?” said one officer as they both shared a laugh. “Yeah, I just got the one f***er.”
Chief Rick Maglione said that the department’s investigation is looking into 8,000 minutes of body camera footage altogether.
In a statement released following the article, Maglione said: “The entire video clearly demonstrated our officers were under attack by a group of people who chose to use violence instead of peace to antagonize the situation. Although the language is extreme and offensive to some, our officers were dealing with the chaos of a developing situation.”
Poherence was also put on leave without pay after being charged for pushing the kneeling protester.
A second protester, Latoya Ratlieff, also got her eye socket fractured by a rubber bullet at one of the protests in the city.
Maglione said the bodycam footage is still being reviewed.
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