Miami Beach Police officers who became unwitting YouTube stars when a scuffle with a Spring Breaker was caught on video are not expected to face any discipline in the matter, officials told CBSMiami.
Though the "Cops on South Beach" clip shows one officer punching and then quickly slapping a restrained and allegedly drunk beachgoer (approximately 1:09 in the video), Chief Ray Martinez told CBS the "distraction blow" was used to gain control of the man, who was spitting.
“It appears this use of force was within our policies practices and procedures,” Martinez said.
Reactions on YouTube generally agreed. (Watch the video above to decide for yourself.)
"He was well within his rights to punch him in the mouth to stop him from spitting anymore," said one YouTube commenter.
Another, however, was a little more skeptical of the MBPD: "In the academy, they teach many ways to take down an individual without punching. Also, this is Miami Beach cops, known to be dirty and crooked."
Miami Beach officials have recently taken steps to reform a police department rocked by scandals on the sand and off, as well as stem the effects of rowdy breakers. While one officer was stripped of his car after another YouTube video caught him speeding so fast on the beach he caught air in front of startled tourists, the city moved to ban plastic drinking straws -- a Spring Break staple if there ever was one.
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