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Bodycam Footage Shows Florida Police Laughing While Shooting Rubber Bullets At Protesters

by : Cameron Frew on : 03 Jul 2020 14:55
Bodycam Footage Shows Police Laughing While Shooting Rubber Bullets At ProtestersBodycam Footage Shows Police Laughing While Shooting Rubber Bullets At ProtestersFort Lauderdale Police Department

Official police bodycam footage shows officers laughing and celebrating while shooting rubber bullets at protesters in Florida. 

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Fort Lauderdale Police Department was forced to release a full eight-minute clip after Detective Zachary Baro’s footage emerged online, showing the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.

The video also shows Officer Jamie Chatman asking Baro if his camera was on, to which he replied that it was in stand-by mode and therefore not recording. At this point, the pair started laughing.

You watch a clip from the bodycam footage below: 

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The incident unfolded on May 31, as Baro led the department’s SWAT team in a conflict with protesters. In the video, one officer said: ‘Did you see me f*ck up those motherf*ckers?’ While another replied: ‘I got the one f*cker.’

Miami Herald originally broke the story after securing the footage featuring the laughing, prompting the police department to release a more extensive video leading up to that moment.

Fort Lauderdale Police Department Fort Lauderdale Police Department Fort Lauderdale Police Department

On Thursday, July 2, Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said he was ‘troubled by what I saw on the video’, while adding he ‘would not want the actions of a few to taint the public’s perception of the dedication and professionalism of the department as a whole’.

Lagerbloom said: 

I can understand the intensity of the moment captured on body camera footage as the officers were clearly under attack. The exchange recorded by the body cameras paints an unflattering yet truthful depiction of the chaos they were operating in. The language the officers used, and sentiment expressed is not consistent with what the public expects from our police force.

In a separate statement, the police department wrote that it is ‘in the process of conducting an exhaustive review to include nearly 8,000 minutes of body-worn camera footage’, with an after-action report to be completed within the next 30 days.

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Alongside a link to the footage, it added: ‘The entire video clearly demonstrates our officers were under attack by a group of people who chose to use violence instead of peace to antagonise the situation. Although the language is extreme, and offensive to some, our officers were dealing with the chaos of a developing situation’.

At the same protest, LaToya Ratlieff was hit in the face with a rubber bullet, reportedly leaving the 34-year-old with a fractured skull and 20 stitches. Another police officer, Steven Pohorence, was also charged with battery after pushing a kneeling protester to the ground.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, Florida, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, George Floyd, Now, Protests, US

Credits

FLPDPIO/YouTube and 2 others
  1. FLPDPIO/YouTube

    FLPD Responds to Media and Releases Body Camera Footage in its Entirety

  2. Miami Herald

    Video: Florida police laugh after shooting rubber bullets

  3. Fort Lauderdale PD/Twitter

    @FLPD411