A police officer was shown on a viral video employing a violent chokehold on an unidentified man before the cop pulled out his gun and aimed it at a mob of angry passengers who were brawling as their flight was delayed at the airport in Miami on Monday night.
NBC Miami reported that there was “a disturbance due to a delayed charter flight,” but not much information beyond that was immediately available.
A 45-second video clip filmed from inside Miami International Airport shows a brief snippet of the violence that at times seemed aimed at the police officer, who can be seen at the start of the footage choking someone as a boisterous crowd surrounds them. As the unidentified officer struggles with the man in the chokehold, onlookers approach them and appear to be trying to remove the cop’s restraint.
The struggle continues as the man being choked breaks out of the cop’s grasp and begins wildly swinging at the officer, who charges at the man in an apparent effort to prevent him from throwing any more punches. As a couple of good Samaritans step in to separate the two men, the officer, seemingly dazed, takes a few steps back, draws his gun from his holster and waves in indiscriminately at the crowd. The video shows innocent people, including children and elderly people, standing near the officer when he pulls out his gun.
The officer ultimately relents and reholsters his gun while apparently — and finally — calling for backup. The video ends showing the passengers appearing to still be growing more agitated.
Watch the madness unfold below.
At least two people were arrested. The incident is also reportedly under investigation by police into why the officer brandished his gun.
Airport management cited the apparent uptick in unruly passengers during the pandemic.
“Like airports across the country, MIA is seeing record-high passenger numbers this winter travel season. Unfortunately, that passenger growth has come with a record-high increase nationwide in bad behavior as well, such as the incident this evening at MIA,” Miami International Airport (MIA) Director and CEO Ralph Cutié said in a statement. “Disruptive passengers face police arrest, civil penalties up to $37,000, being banned from flying, and potential federal prosecution. … Please travel responsibly by getting to the airport extra early, being patient, complying with the federal mask law and airport staff, limiting your alcohol consumption, and notifying police at the first sign of bad behavior by calling 911.”
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