The department said it is conducting a review of 8,000 minutes of body camera footage, but it is defending the officers involved in the video, first published by the Miami Herald.
Fort Lauderdale police released footage showing officers laughing and celebrating after shooting protesters with rubber bullets during a late May protest against police brutality.
The police department in South Florida released the nearly 9 minutes of body-camera footage on Wednesday in response to a Miami Herald story that was accompanied by a 2-minute clip of the footage the Herald obtained through a public records request.
The Miami Herald reported that the recording was from a Fort Lauderdale officer’s body camera during a protest on May 31, after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Beat it, little f—er,” an officer can be heard saying after shooting projectiles at a protester. The protester appears to have tossed tear gas at the police and to be walking away.
Later, one officer asked another if his body camera was off, and the second officer incorrectly said it was.
“Did you see me f–k up those motherf—-rs?” one of the officers says on the video.
“I got the one f—er,” the other officer replies, as the two officers laugh.
The department said it is conducting a review of 8,000 minutes of body-camera footage, including from the protest on May 31, but it is defending the officers involved in the video published first by the Miami Herald.
“The Herald’s story shows only two and half minutes of an 8 minute and 43 second long video. The entire video clearly demonstrates 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,” Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione said in a statement.
A Fort Lauderdale police officer who was captured on video appearing to push over a kneeling demonstrator during the same protest was charged with battery earlier this week.