1 Fort Lauderdale
News & Reviews
A Miami Beach cop is asking the city for whistleblower protection after releasing a cellphone video that shows another cop knocking out an unarmed black man with a vicious right-handed punch.
Miami Beach police officer Frederick Dominguez released a video of the incident that took place at the Pelican Hotel on Miami Beach on Dec. 3. In the video, officers are seen standing around a menu when a man named Lowell Poitier Jr., 35, approaches and seems to grab something off the top of the menu on a stand.
A voice is heard saying “watch yourself bud” a couple of times before Poitier responds, “what? what?”
Then the officer, who’s last name is also Dominguez according to Poitier’s arrest form, cold-cocks Poitier with his right fist, knocking him out. Frederick Dominguez did not take the video. He obtained a copy taken from a cellphone.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said attorney Michael Pizzi, who is representing Frederick Dominguez, who asked the city for whistleblower protection after releasing the video. “It’s outrageous behavior. It’s an assault in broad daylight.”
Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates said he’d just seen the video Wednesday morning.
“I’ve already referred it to internal affairs to investigate,” he said.
According to Poitier’s arrest form, cops were called to the hotel at 826 Ocean Dr. at 9:20 p.m., after a witness claimed Poitier was acting irate. Police said when they approached Poitier he was acting agitated and management had asked him to leave the property.
The officer who wrote the arrest form said that before Poitier was struck by officer Dominguez, he took a fighting stance and clenched his fists. That isn’t clear in the video.
Frederick Dominguez, the whistleblower, who isn’t related to the Dominguez named in the arrest form who threw the punch, said in his letter to the city that the actions on the video are not supported by Poitier’s arrest form.