A police officer at Miami Airport pulled a gun on an angry crowd of passengers after a fight escalated from a verbal altercation to a physical one.
Officer At Miami Airport Pulls Gun After Discussion Turns Into Brawl
According to initial reports, the incident started when a passenger decided to help himself to an airport transport vehicle (golf cart) after his flight was delayed by 12 hours. Police were called when he refused to return the key.
Video posted on Twitter shows a man arguing with a police officer. The police officer appears to begin to walk away, but the man grabs the arm of the police officer so as to continue the conversation.
The police officer responds by charging at the passenger with great force and attacking him.
AIRPORT BRAWL: At least two people were arrested after a brawl broke out between passengers and police at the Miami International Airport Monday night, the full report here: https://t.co/zYX4kLK9MP #8NN #airportbrawl pic.twitter.com/rdkFkvXT0w
— 8 News Now (@8NewsNow) December 21, 2021
Other joins in the fracas and the officer soon finds himself backing up and pulls a gun, even as another officer arrives to assist.
The video ends, but two men are eventually arrested and order is restored.
Questionable Conduct From Police Officer
I want to comment on the conduct of the police officer. We ask so much of our law enforcement officers and I greatly respect the profession and the willingness of officers to put themselves at risk. From my own vantage point, I see most police officers as decent folks trying to do their job well, just like all of us in our own spheres of influence.
But a police officer is really like an airline pilot in that there is no room for error. Police officers cannot have a bad day, especially when we entrust them with a deadly weapon.
When I look a that video, I see a passenger acting like an idiot, but a cop acting unprofessionally. The two were in the midst of a heated argument and the passenger does not appear to be attacking the officer – he just wanted to talk more and uses his hands (something I’ve observed in Latin culture on many occasions).
The police officer’s reaction seems quite disproportionate to me. Sure, arrest the man for stealing the golf cart. But if this video is accurate, the fight escalated because the officer did not like his arm being touched.
Miami Airport issued the following statement on the incident:
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. Disruptive passengers face police arrest, civil penalties up to $37,000, being banned from flying, and potential federal prosecution. We have worked so hard to rebound from the pandemic and make traveling safe again, so we can visit our loved ones.
Like all airports across the country? I don’t think so, Miami…
Throw the book at the man who stole the keys from the airport golf cart and anyone who attacked the officer, but video of the incident suggests the officer’s conduct was probably unnecessary in order to contain the incident. We hold cops in high esteem precisely because we ask so much of them, including the discernment to respond proportionally to troubled people.
(H/T: View From The Wing)