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Mayor calls video of downtown arrests is 'scary,' says promoters are part of the problem

Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 05:45:56-04

The mayor of West Palm Beach offered her thoughts Tuesday on a video that's making headlines nationwide. Her city's officers were part of a chaotic scene Sunday afternoon that led to three arrests. 

Mayor Jeri Muoio called the scene at Banko Cantina Sunday "scary," referring to the viral video where a police officer pulls a woman to the ground by her hair and pulls her out of the restaurant. She says how police officers acted is under review, but she thinks others may be to blame. 

Banko Cantina is known for its Sunday brunch party, but police say the downtown restaurant called them for help around 4:30 p.m. and things for worse before they got better. 

"You can’t help but react. It's not pretty," said the mayor. 

Mayor Muoio said she watched the police body camera video and says the department is reviewing it's officers' actions, but she believes the chaos stems from who was promoting the party. 

"We have people who are called ‘promoters’ who bring in parties into our downtown and every time that happens we have a problem," said the mayor. 

Police body camera video does not show there was a fight at the restaurant. It shows people being shoved and pushed, told to leave; some refused to leave and that's when the trouble began. 

The incident ended with three arrests; one video of the arrests going viral. The video shows a woman who pushed an officer gets dropped down to the ground by the hair and pulled outside by that officer.

Another body camera video shows an officer deployed his taser on a man police say pushed or bumped an officer. He was dragged out of the restaurant. 

The mayor said she plans to create a new process for promoters where they would have to be registered with the city and have a safe record in order to continue promoting parties in downtown. It's unclear if the restaurant had a promoter working Sunday.