Miami-Dade Police Officers Filmed Handcuffing Legless Woman, Dropping Her to Ground

Mary Luis Brown is missing both of her legs. She's also 52 years old, gets around in a wheelchair, and isn't armed with any kind of weaponry. It's hard to imagine any situation where she'd be a serious threat to trained police officers.

So why did two Miami-Dade cops handcuff her and drop her onto the pavement outside a gas station?

That's a question MDPD is being forced to answer this afternoon after a bystander filmed officers roughly treating Brown during an encounter outside a gas station this past Saturday. The video was shared with WSVN, which posted the short clip online.

MDPD admits the two officers didn't handle the situation properly.

"Command level personnel have viewed the video along with the officers' body worn camera footage and after reviewing the incident, have realized that as an agency we need to provide our law enforcement officers additional resources to aid them in facilitating the transport of disabled individuals, so that situations such as these are handled in a more amicable manner in the future," the force says in a statement.

The video was filmed outside a gas station at Moody Drive and SW 127th Avenue in Homestead. Brown had been panhandling outside the station, police say, and had repeatedly been asked to leave.

Two officers arrived around 7 p.m. and arrested her for trespassing.

"Def. was told that she was under arrest," the officers wrote in an incident report shared with New Times. "Def. became uncooperative."

In the video, the officers — who have not been identified yet — can be seen handcuffing Brown and tossing her to the pavement as bystanders gasp. "Stop hurting me!" Brown cries out before writhing on the ground.

Brown was transported from the scene by ambulance, MDPD says.
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink