With his hands cuffed behind his back and his face down on the ground, body camera video from August 2018 shows Keeler Harris saying he can’t breathe multiple times while being arrested by Miami-Dade Police. The video shows one officer walk up to Harris, who is already on the ground, and put his knee on his back.
“He’s lying down on the ground with his head against the fence,” said civil rights attorney Sebastian Ohanian. “He’s handcuffed. He’s not moving at all. It’s a very sad video when you watch it. It’s emotional.” Ohanian says police used excessive force. “It’s a George Floyd-type scenario,” he said. “Keeler is lucky to have left with his life.”
According to an arrest report, police spotted Harris in a car they thought was stolen. At one point in the video, Harris takes off running. Another part of the video shows him on the ground when another officer begins punching him.
“It’s shocking that someone could treat another human being in such a callous manner,” Ohanian said. Ohanian says the knee to Harris’ back caused several injuries, including a broken arm. “During this, he manages to break Mr. Harris’ arm,” he said. “It’s required a rod to be placed into it.”
Miami-Dade Police released a statement saying, “The department has not received an official complaint. Professional compliance bureau is reviewing the incident.”
Harris was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. His trial starts September 29.