MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A police officer was captured on video body-slamming a man while taking him into custody in Miami Beach.
The incident happened in the area of Eighth Street and Ocean Drive, Friday night.
Rough Spring Break Friday night on #MiamiBeach. This just happened at 8th & Ocean Dr. It appears to show a bodyslam takedown as police try to control a crowd. Witnesses who sent me this video say cops were forced to deploy pepper spray which caused a stampede. @wsvn #Exclusive pic.twitter.com/s8gS3Silxe
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) March 13, 2021
According to sources, an officer deployed pepper spray, causing a stampede of tourists to run for cover moments later. Shortly after the takedown, officers pinned the subject on the ground and detained him.
Miami Beach Police said several subjects have been detained, and two officers were injured and had to be transported to the hospital. The severity of their injuries is not yet known.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Florida has the highest case count of COVID-19 variants in the U.S. However, tourists continue to flock to the coastal city during the pandemic.
”I can control my behavior and be safe, and so, I felt comfortable enough coming,” Tanisha Watkins, a tourist, said. “I was a bit hesitant about coming down here. I didn’t know what the protocols were going to be and what people were going to be following, but the ticket prices were so cheap that I couldn’t refuse.”
2021’s version of spring break will shape up to be one of the most unique in recent years.
“Well, you see, I got the mask on,” said a tourist.
With vaccinations on the rise and virus cases declining, health experts believe the virus’ variants pose a looming threat. They fear the incoming spring breakers will only add to the problem with so many not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing.
“The New York variant, the Brazil variant and the South African variant — people who were previously infected may not have a strong enough protection from these new variants,” Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, said.
While health experts stress safety and precaution, Watkins said staying safe is her top priority.
“We are using hand sanitizer as frequently as possible and keeping our mask on, even though we’re outside,” Watkins said. “It’s really important to me to continue to have this on.”
A curfew remains in place for Miami-Dade County during spring break. It runs from midnight to 6 a.m.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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