Police handcuff American doctor testing homeless people for Covid-19

Miami doctor getting arrested outside his home (PHOTO: Hill Street Studios/Getty Images)
Miami doctor getting arrested outside his home (PHOTO: Hill Street Studios/Getty Images)
Hill Street Studios

A video of a Miami doctor, known for testing homeless people for Covid-19, being detained outside his house has sparked public fury since going viral, and prompted an internal investigation by the Miami Police Department.

Dr Armen Henderson was loading tents into his van preparing to go out on his testing round in downtown Miami when a police car pulled up next to him. In the audioless video, Dr Henderson is wearing a protective mask while loading his van when a Miami police car pulls up.

The police officer driving the car, who has not been identified, steps out of the vehicle, words are exchanged and then he handcuffs the doctor.

“He asked me if this was my house, if I lived here. And he was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to need to see some ID’ [which the doctor didn’t have on him at the time],” Dr Henderson told AJ+. The police officer then cuffs him and leads him to the front of the police car. “And then he started yelling in my face,” the doctor told another publication, which is concerning because the officer didn’t have a protective mask on.

The situation was defused when Dr Henderson’s wife came out of the house and showed his ID to the officer.

The United States is the current epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, with more than 600 000 confirmed cases and 25 000 deaths, and healthcare systems continue to grapple to keep the virus in check. Subsequently, most of the deaths are among African-American and Hispanic groups in the country.

Miami chief of police Jorge Colina said context was important to the incident but vowed the matter would be "investigated fully”, he told Sky News.

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