Video shows comedian joking, insulting Miami cop during arrest

When a Miami police officer encountered stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress, the dialogue sounded straight out of his stage act

By David Ovalle
Miami Herald

MIAMI — When a Miami police officer encountered stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress, it was on a Wynwood street corner. But, in footage captured on the officer’s body camera, the dialogue sounded straight out of his stage act.

“Hey, whats up?! It’s me, Hannibal Buress,” he told the cop, laughing. “This cop is stupid as f**k. Hey, put this camera on.”

But Officer Luis Verne, his body camera already rolling, was not amused. “Get out here before ... ,” he said.

Buress continued. “Hey whats up, YouTube.”

“Alright, put your hand behind your back,” Verne said.

“For what?” Buress said.

“Are you resisting now?” the officer said.

The body-camera footage from early December — released Tuesday as part of the prosecution’s case against Buress for misdemeanor disorderly intoxication — reveals many of the details that led to Buress’ arrest.

The comedian has starred in numerous standup-comedy specials, on the show “Broad City,” and as an actor in movies such as “Spider-Man Homecoming” and “Baywatch.” He is also known for talking on stage about rumors of sexual assaults by comedian Bill Cosby, who was later accused publicly by several women.

The body cam footage did not capture the initial moments of the encounter, when Officer Verne said in his report that Buress asked him to call him an Uber, or that the officer repeatedly told Buress to leave the corner in Wynwood “like seven times.”

It does show Buress immediately and repeatedly protesting the officer’s probable cause, at times yelling loudly. “You haven’t read me my rights!” Buress said.

The scene turned surreal when a group of hipsters walked by, marveling that the famous comedian was being handcuffed by police. “I’m under arrest right now for calling him a bitch-ass ni**a,” Buress laughed.

“You can’t be getting after Hannibal like that!” one of the bystanders said.

Urged by Buress, they began video recording on their smart phones, despite the officer saying, “There’s no need for them to film.”

The officer also initially told Buress he was under arrest for trespassing, although he was only charged for intoxication.

His next court date is on Feb. 5.

©2018 Miami Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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