A Fort Lauderdale police officer has been suspended from his job after video surfaced showing him pushing a kneeling protester during Sunday night’s demonstration.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione announced the decision on Monday stating:
“That officer has been removed from any contact with the public,” said Maglione. “He is relieved from duty basically while this matter is investigated. It is going to be investigated first and foremost to see if any Florida statutes were violated. In other words, a criminal investigation is going to commence that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is going to do. It’s not unusual in a case of police use of force.”
Witnesses say the incident is what started a confrontation between protesters and police officers that ended in a riot.
Several police cars, buildings, and businesses were left severely damaged.
Maglione stated that while he does not believe the officer’s actions started the riot, his action may have escalated the situation.