Florida cops laughed and celebrated shooting protesters with rubber bullets during a George Floyd rally in May, newly released body camera footage shows.
“Beat it, little f–ker,” Detective Zachary Baro, the leader of a Fort Lauderdale Police Department SWAT team unit, can be heard saying in the video, which was obtained by The Miami Herald.
A protester had just tossed a tear gas can back at a line of police officers — prompting them to open fire with the projectiles — when the cops began chuckling and boasting.
“Did you see me f–k up those motherf–krs?” one of the officers says.
“I got the one f–ker,” another replied amid laughter.
The officers believed Baro’s body camera was off at the time, according to a caught-on-camera conversation. In it, Officer Jamie Chatman asked Baro if his body camera was off, to which he wrongly replied that it was in “stand-by” mode and not recording.
The two officers then started joking about the people they had shot with the rubber bullets.
On Thursday, Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said he was “troubled by what I saw” in the video, according to CBS Miami.
“While I am a huge supporter of the hard work of our police force, I 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 in a statement.
“I can understand the intensity of the moment captured on body camera footage as the officers were clearly under attack… The language the officers used, and sentiment expressed is not consistent with what the public expects from our police force.”
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said it is “in the process of conducting an exhaustive review” of the footage.
“Although the language is extreme and offensive to some, our officers were dealing with the chaos of a developing situation,” a statement from the police notes.
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