Cellphone video shows Florida police officer kicking teen

Sgt. Gustavo De Los Rios charged with misdemeanor battery

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office released cellphone video Thursday that shows a veteran Miami-Dade police officer kicking a teen who was lying on the ground with his hands handcuffed behind his back.

Sgt. Gustavo De Los Rios, 38, was charged in August with misdemeanor battery in connection with the Feb. 14 incident.

The video appears to show De Los Rios kick the teen in the face before pushing his knee into the teen’s neck. 

Miami-Dade police confirmed at the time that the sergeant had been relieved of duty with pay since the initial complaint was filed. 

The video shows multiple police officers assisting in the arrest of the teen in northwest Miami-Dade, which was captured on cellphone video by a bystander.

David Brown, then 17, who was wanted in connection with a burglary, was allegedly riding in a car with his mother behind the wheel when she was pulled over in the 18600 block of Northwest 57th Avenue, just north of Miami Lakes.

According to the Miami Herald, Brown is accused of getting into an altercation with officers, and punched and kicked while he was on the ground, hitting De Los Rios several times in the chest and on the arm.  

According to the Herald, one of the officers fired his Taser, striking the teen in the back. 

Brown, who wasn't seriously injured, was charged with battery on law enforcement officers and resisting with violence.   

Brown's father told Local 10 News last year that he and his family have a lot of questions still unanswered.

"Honestly, I don't know if it's racism," he said. "Maybe he just feels like he's got power and can take advantage of people."

Records show that De Los Rios was arrested last year in Broward County on accusations that he struck his ex-wife with a bottle. Prosecutors ultimately declined to pursue charges against the officer after she recanted her claims.

Prior to that, in 2015, De Los Rios was counseled for using his position as a law enforcement officer to obtain information about his ex's travel plans on a ferry.  

The officer's ex-wife also sought a domestic-violence restraining order against him in 2014, records show. 

Miami-Dade police Director Juan Perez released a statement last August, saying his department and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office immediately began an investigation into De Los Rios’ actions after they became aware of the video.

"His actions are disappointing and do not reflect our agency's core values," Perez said. "I assure our community that all allegations of misconduct involving our personnel will be vigorously investigated. No one is above the law."

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