Miami Beach Officer Who Released Footage of Police Punching Unarmed Black Man Reprimanded by Department

Cell phone video released by a Miami Beach Police
Officer in 2018 appeared to show a fellow officer, Adriel Dominguez, punching
an unarmed black man, Lowell Poitier, knocking him out cold.

Dominguez was suspended during an internal affairs
investigation for hitting Poitier, but in October 2019, prosecutors cleared
Dominguez of any wrongdoing.

Recently, the officers who leaked the video were
reprimanded instead.

“They did the right thing in order to protect our
community, and gave over this clear and convincing evidence to their
supervisors, and they are reprimanded. So, what kind of message are we
sending,” said Attorney David Kubiliun who represents Lowell Poitier.

The officer, Alfredo Garcia, who recorded his
body cam video on his cell phone, was given a written warning for violating
police policy of releasing unauthorized video.

“God forbid other police officers like Frederick
Dominguez came forward and exposed this and didn’t think what was happening was
correct,” said attorney Michael Pizzi.

Attorney Michael Pizzi represents Officer
Frederick Dominguez who sent a copy of the video to him and sought
whistleblower protection. That officer was hit with a 10-hour suspension.

“Why should Fred Dominguez have to hire lawyers,
appeal suspensions and still be miserable two years later when all he did was
tell the truth and expose what is a national problem,” said attorney Pizzi.

Pizzi says the officer he represents plans to
fight the suspension.

The initial incident happened outside a
restaurant at the Pelican Hotel on Ocean Drive almost 2 years ago.

According to the arrest report, restaurant
managers called police on Poitier for disturbing patrons.

Poitier was initially charged with resisting
arrest without violence and disorderly conduct. Last July, those charges were
dropped by the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Attorney David Kubiliun, who represents Lowell
Poitier, says they are not done fighting.

“We still have another avenue in the civil route.
We will be filing a lawsuit against City of Miami Beach and City of Miami Beach
Police Department in the near future,” said Kubiliun.

We reached out to the Miami Beach Police
Department and the City of Miami Beach and they had the following statement on
this case:

“I am satisfied with the State Attorney’s
findings from 2019 where they deemed that Officer Adriel Dominguez had the
right to protect himself from a perceived threat. I am equally satisfied with
the subsequent outcome of our thorough Internal Affairs investigation. I am a
firm believer in holding officers accountable for inappropriate actions. I also
believe in holding accountable those who come into contact with our officers
and pose a threat to their safety,” said Chief Richard Clements of the Miami
Beach Police Department.

“The 10-hour suspension for Officer Frederick
Dominguez is a recommendation for discipline from the Police Department’s
Disciplinary Panel. Final discipline will be determined after Officer Dominguez
is afforded the opportunity to have what is called a predetermination hearing.
The purpose of the predetermination hearing is for Officer Dominguez to present
any information to the City to warrant a possible change in the recommended
discipline. Any actual discipline will be determined by the Police Department
in conjunction with the City Manager’s Office after the predetermination
hearing. Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and
the Police Union, Officer Dominguez can appeal any discipline that is
ultimately handed down,” said Jimmy Morales, City Manager with the City of
Miami Beach.