Footage from a Florida cop’s bodycam shows him pushing an 18-year-old man off a roof on orders from his superior, who was standing nine feet below.
Kissimmee Police Sgt. Anthony Amada was standing on the ground with another officer and aiming a Taser up at Yadiel Torres. He is repeatedly heard commanding Officer Plenio Massiah, “Just push him off! Push him off!” in the bodycam footage of the incident obtained by Oxygen.com. And that's precisely what Massiah did.
Cops approached the man’s home at around noon on March 3, 2019, to question him about an allegation he drove off with his ex-girlfriend’s silver 2004 Toyota Corolla after they had an argument, according to a 41-page report from an internal investigation launched into the roof-pushing incident obtained by Oxygen.com.
When they arrived, Torres allegedly tried to evade them by rushing up to the roof.
Once there, a very brief standoff ensued. Massiah and other officers reached the roof with Amada yelling orders from below in an attempt to bring the accused car thief into custody.
“Now you have no choice to jump down, right? Now you have no choice,” Massiah is heard proclaiming as he reaches the roof.
He then tells Torres, “You better jump! You better jump!”
Torres appears to try to ask for a chance to get down safely, the video, first reported on by ABC affiliate WFTV, shows.
"I was just going through the window," Torres can be heard saying to Massiah.
Within seconds, a voice, believed to be Amada's, urges the officer to “push him off.”
The right hand from the officer wearing the bodycam is seen grabbing Torres by the right shoulder and shoving him off the roof.
Torres can be heard yelling, "No. Hey!"
After landing on the grassy lawn, Torres tries again to settle down the cops.
"All right, hey, I'm down. I'm not resisting," Torres can be heard saying.
But a Taser was still deployed, the video shows. It was Amada who deployed his Taser, according to the report.
After the incident, Massiah told investigators he "heard Sgt. Amada telling him to push Mr. Torres off the roof," and understood those instructions as "confirmation to do so."
Massiah also said that he didn't want to push Torres "too hard" and that he instead "slowly nudged him." The officer explained further that he was leery of Torres turning toward him or standing up. If he did so, Massiah thought he "would have to go hands-on and one or both of them would fall off the roof, so he decided to push [him] off the roof," according to the report.
Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell condemned the unnecessary use of physical force to arrest Torres.
“Massiah's decision to push the suspect off the roof could have resulted in significant injury," he said, according to the report.
Investigators suspended Massiah for eight hours for “failing to follow KPD general order."
“Members shall use only the degree of force necessary to affect lawful objectives," the final report states.
They also criticized Amada for prematurely deploying his Taser and also said his "failure to act as a supervisor by taking control of the scene contributed to the confusion and placed Mr. Torres and Offc. Massiah in danger of injury."
The report recommended Amada be fired, denouncing his action to push Torres as decided in "haste" and "not indicative of a supervisor with 14 years of experience.”
Amada apparently left the department in June after having been disciplined in another case, the station confirmed.
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