MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A brawl in a Fort Lauderdale hotel lobby, started by a man accused of yelling racial slurs at an employee, came to an end with the employee behind bars. But now, civil rights attorney Ben Crump is questioning why the employee, who he says was defending himself, was arrested in the first place.
The scene played out at a Best Western Hotel back in January.
Fort Lauderdale police say they're aware of the video and they're investigating it, but they have yet to tell CBS4 the status of the officers involved.
Everything that happened in the video comes after Raymond Rachal canceled a hotel guest's stay, because, he says, the man was making racial slurs at him. That same hotel guest, identified as Jason Rabe, leaves the property, but then comes back. All of it is caught on camera.
The video starts with Rachal, an employee at the Best Western Hotel, sitting behind the front desk. Rabe walks into the frame and, walking with a purpose, heads directly towards Rachal. He immediately opens the security gate and that's when you see Rachal punch him in the face.
From there, a fight breaks out, taking the two men to the ground. Another man runs over to help as Rachal punches Rabe several more times. Then, Rachal holds Rabe in a headlock until police arrive. As soon as they get there, you see Rachal stand right up. He's then pushed several times by police officers as he references the security camera.
Finally, you see Rachal taken away in handcuffs.
He was initially accused of several charges, including resisting officers with violence, but not one time was that seen on the surveillance video.
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