FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation after a controversial smartphone video of an arrest became public earlier this week.
In the video, which lasts nearly a minute, it shows a struggle between police and a suspect on the ground. At one point, an officer can be heard saying, "I should've shot him."
The video was recorded Saturday by a witness. It's now being reviewed by internal affairs.
"The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is aware of the video and our internal affairs office is looking into it further," police spokeswoman Casey Liening said in a statement. "We are encouraging anyone who witnessed the incident to contact IA at 954-828-6956."
Police identified the sergeant who made the comment as Shannon Dameron. Police confirmed that he's been with the department since 2002. He remains on active duty while the investigation continues.
According to a police report, the incident happened during a traffic stop in the 300 block of Southwest Second Street.
Police arrested Rohan Warner, 20, on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. Officers claim that when they stopped Warner, they asked him for his license.
That's when they said they saw him "attempting to remove and conceal what appeared to be a folded knife."
According to the affidavit, "the officer drew his weapon and held it at low ready while telling the driver to drop the knife, at which time he dropped it on the floorboard."
The sergeant also said that "the driver was then told to exit the vehicle, at which time he opened the door and placed his leg out while again reaching for the folded knife."
"The driver grabbed the knife and attempted to open it with the other hand when myself and Sgt. Dameron attempted to open it with the other hand," he wrote in the affidavit.
Officers "feared that he was attempting to stab one of us."
Officers claim that they tried to arrest him, but he began "twisting and fighting to get free." Police said Warner continued to fight until backup arrived and took him into custody.