A Miami Beach Police officer who was suspended for punching an unarmed man outside a hotel has been cleared of wrongdoing by prosecutors and internal affairs investigators.
Miami Beach Officer Adriel Dominguez — who was caught on bodycam video knocking Lowell Poitier Jr. out cold at a restaurant outside the Pelican Hotel in December 2018 — is back on the force following a review by Miami-Dade state prosecutors, who found he used the proper amount of force after being threatened by the man.
In a memo that cleared Dominguez in October, prosecutors said the cop could’ve reasonably believed Poitier was “about to hit him” as the man made an aggressive gesture after seemingly picking up something from a nearby table.
The footage shows Poitier approaching Dominguez and saying, “What? What?” in the cop’s face, prompting the officer to respond with a brutal right hand, sending Poitier to the ground instantly.
“Watch yourself, bud,” someone on the footage said just before the one-punch knockout.
While Dominguez was cleared in the case, two other officers who shared video of the punch have been disciplined, including Miami Beach Officer Alfredo Garcia, who got a written warning in July for “producing and distributing an unauthorized version” of recordings from his body-worn camera, the Herald reports.
Garcia used his cellphone to record the footage and posted it on social media, according to the newspaper.