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By Minyvonne Burke
Two officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department were charged on Tuesday after one of them was seen on a video appearing to have hit the head of a handcuffed teenager during the night. an arrest last year.
In the video, Sgt. Manuel Regueiro is beaten 18-year-old Bryan Crespo in the face as he is led into the living room of his home by another officer. The incident, videotaped by video surveillance inside Crespo's home, took place in March 2018 when officers went on-site to execute a arrest warrant against Crespo and two other people who allegedly stole airbags from cars.
The police took Crespo outside and told them that the surveillance camera in his home had captured the police officer who was hitting him.
Miami-Dade Attorney General, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the officer Alexander Gonzalez, Sgt. Regueiro and two other agents then returned to the house and began searching two bedrooms.
Gonzalez allegedly cut the cables of a surveillance system and then removed what he thought was a DVR recorder containing a video of the incident, Rundle said. Images from a neighboring house showed that Gonzalez was leaving Crespo's house with the camera and placing it in the trunk of his car.
Rundle stated that the officers had no warrant to search or remove items from Crespo's home, and that the device that Gonzalez allegedly took would never have been documented. Authorities were alerted to the disappearance of an object from the house when Crespo's mother contacted the police.
"This behavior is unacceptable," said Rundle.
Regueiro was charged with battery for misdemeanor and ordered Tuesday afternoon to surrender, authorities said.
Gonzalez was charged with falsifying evidence and went to the police on Tuesday morning. He has since been released on bail.
At the press conference, Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said that Regueiro, Gonzalez and two other police officers present at Crespo's arrest had been dismissed, but were still police forces.