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Miami Police Officer Relieved Of Duty For Kicking Handcuffed Suspect In Head

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It's video that went viral quickly.

Seconds after a man is cuffed, we see a City of Miami police officer race in - kicking him in the head --and putting him in a head lock.

It happened at the Culmer Place Apartments in Overtown.

The woman who recorded the video does not want to be identified.  She explains what she saw.

"He's on the ground and the other officer just came and kicks him like a football player, he just kicks his head like he's a football player," she said.

Police say that officer is 2-year Miami PD vet Mario Figuerroa. He's been relieved of duty.

The man on the ground is identified as David Suazo.

The woman who shot the video said she was stunned by what she saw.

"In my mind I was just like in shock," she said. "I was like 'are you serious, you really just kicked this man and he's helpless. He's not resisting arrest or anything like that. Why are you really doing all of that."

Investigators say the whole thing began when police tried to stop Suazo believing he was in a stolen car.

Neighbors say it came to a crashing end when he smashed the car and took off, with police following.

A neighbor said, "the car was still in drive he didn't put it in park. It ended up in the wall where my son's room is."

Suazo ended up in the courtyard, that's where the take down happened -- and where we see him kicked in the face just after he was cuffed.

His family said police initially told them nothing happened during the arrest.

His sister Maritza Valerio was shocked to see the video.

"I go home and saw it on Facebook and God, there's the video of what the sergeant on the scene alleged didn't happen, which is my brother being on the ground already handcuffed and being kicked in the face by another officer," she said.

Miami's police chief released a statement saying "On today's date the city of Miami police Dept. Received a video on an incident involving one of my officers.  The video depicts a clear violation of policy.  The office has been relieved of duty and the Miami Dade state attorney office has been contacted."

State attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle also released a statement late Thursday, saying "I was shocked and appalled by what I saw. Assistant State Attorney Johnette Hardiman, of my Public Corruption Unit, has been assigned to immediately open an investigation."

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