Titusville, FL – A Titusville Police Department (TPD) detective was placed on administrative leave after a cell phone video that showed him arresting a combative subject was posted to social media (video below)
The video, which was posted to Facebook on Wednesday, caused many to criticize the detective’s use of force, TPD officials said, according to WKMG.
According to Florida Today, two detecti ves assigned to the TPD’s Special Investigations Section (VICE) initiated a traffic stop on Amari Hair, 20, and an unnamed woman on Wednesday.
The detectives attempted to arrest Hair for driving without a license, but the man became increasingly agitated when they began to search his waistband, WKMG reported.
“Please stay calm,” one of the detectives was heard telling Hair in the video.
As one detective continued his conversation with the woman at the scene, the other detective resumed his search of the handcuffed suspect.
Suddenly, Hair began to yell, and attempted to pull away from the detective.
Working in unison, the two detectives lowered Hair to the ground and rolled him onto his stomach, but he continued to resist their efforts.
“He’s reaching, he’s reaching,” one of the detectives said. “Stop reaching into your waistband! Stop reaching!”
“I’m gonna punch you, Amari,” the detective warned, as his partner continued to retain control of the combative man.
The detective, identified only as Detective Bernd, then struck Hair in the face.
“Stop reaching!” he said, before he struck Hair a second time.
Hair then began to yell at Det. Bernd, and continued to struggle on the ground.
“I don’t know what you’re reaching for, and we’re not going to let you reach,” Det. Bernd said. “Stop resisting. Stay calm. We’re in control. You’re under arrest. Do you understand?”
“Yes, you punched me in my face,” Hair said.
“Yes, I did,” Det. Bernd replied.
“Don’t touch me no further more, and I want to go to the hospital!” Hair yelled, as he returned to his agitated state.
“Oh my gosh, I’m suing,” Hair declared. “I’m scared for my life! You punched me, man!”
As detectives searched the man, he continued to resist their efforts, and kicked the leg of another officer who arrived at the scene.
“We have nothing to hide and this is why the camera’s on you … acting like an idiot,” the uniformed officer said.
The trio of law enforcement officers continued to speak calmly with Hair as they worked to gain his compliance.
A clear plastic bag was later found in a pocket inside Hair’s underwear, Florida Today reported. It contained hydromorphone and suspected heroin, police said.
“Upon seeing the video, members of command staff at the police department immediately removed the detective from his duties and placed him on leave so that a due process investigation can be completed on the use of force during the arrest,” the TPD said in a statement, according to WKMG.
Hair was charged with possession of heroin and hydromorphone.
He was transported for medical care, and then booked into the Brevard County Detention Center.
“They’ve got it in for my son,” Alonzo Hair told Florida Today. “He could be walking down the street, and they’ll stop him. They are a threat to the community. At least we were able to get it on video this time.”
According to his most recent arrest report, the detectives who arrested Hair also arrested him for drug offenses in 2015, 2016, and in November, WKMG reported.
Hair was already out on bond from another charge when he was arrested on Wednesday.
He was released from jail on Thursday after he posted $5,000 bond.
You can see the unedited video of the incident below.