Miami Herald/Fair Use

Bodycam footage shows Hannibal Buress cracking jokes during Miami arrest

Things got out of hand.


Christine Friar


Posted on Jan 17, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 4:27 am CDT

Broad City star Hannibal Buress was arrested for disorderly intoxication during Art Basel Miami in December, and a fan uploaded a video of what they saw on the sidewalk, setting off the #FreeHannibal movement. Now Miami police have uploaded their own video of the event (thanks to bodycam footage from the vest of Officer Luis Verne), and much like Buress’ comedy, it’s somehow dark and silly at the same time.

In the original clip, you could see Buress telling a cop he’s “goofy as fuck,” but there was no real backstory. The new footage still doesn’t capture the initial moments of the encounter, but it helps paint a picture. Prior to either camera being turned on, Officer Verne reported that Buress asked him to “call him an Uber.” The officer also said he told Buress to leave the street corner “like seven times.”

The new video opens with these two on a sidewalk, in what seems like a fairly active Miami intersection. Buress asks the cop to turn his camera on and then gives a shoutout to whoever may be watching the footage. “Hey! It’s me! What’s up?” Buress says, smiling at the officer’s vest. “This cop, he’s stupid. Hey! What’s happening? …What’s up YouTube?”

It’s clear that he’s doing a sort of vlogger bit like you’ve just hit play on his review of an Art Basel show. It’s also clear that he calls the officer “stupid as fuck” while stepping closer to the camera, and that seems to be the event that escalates the interaction to an arrest:

Once the officer asks Buress to put his hands behind his back, Buress protests the officer’s probable cause. The comedian points out several times, “You haven’t read me my rights!” That’s when bystanders—a.k.a. the people who uploaded the viral arrest clip in December—walk into frame and start noticing the standup. Buress tells them to record the incident, they take out their phones, and suddenly you’re seeing the December footage from a second angle. It’s a little like a Black Mirror episode.

“I’m under arrest right now for calling him a bitch-ass ni**a,” Buress laughed.

For the most part, it seems like this incident has been chalked up to “doing a bit while drunk.” The officer initially told Buress he was under arrest for trespassing, but the comedian only ended up being charged with intoxication. His next court date is Feb. 5.

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 17, 2018, 11:59 am CST