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Bodycam video shows Surfside mayor making ‘inappropriate’ comments to police officer

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A South Florida mayor was caught on video making comments to a police officer that have been deemed questionable.

The body camera footage, obtained exclusively by 7News, shows Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett shirtless and in conversation with two officers and a friend on the beach.

Burkett is heard saying that he “had a crush” on the officer to his immediate left.

“You came in ’06? We’ve got in the distance together,” said Burkett to the officer. “Well, I’ve had a crush on you. She’s the best looking police officer we’ve ever had.”

Some town of Surfside officials have told 7News they find this conversation to be inappropriate. Another source calls it “sexual harassment and inappropriate.”

The footage was shared with 7News on Tuesday and was recorded after Burkett called police to complain about loud music.

Audio from the phone calls Burkett made to police shows him attempting to contact the department several times.

Mayor Charles Burkett: “This is Charles Burkett, how are you?”

Surfside Police: “Hi.”

Mayor: “Officer, there’s somebody here on 96[th Street], in the beach, and they’re blasting this horrific music, and it’s disturbing people. Can you send someone up to 96 in the east, please?”

Surfside Police: “Surfside Police.”

Mayor: “Hi, this is Charles Burkett again. Hi, I had called you and asked you to send an officer up here to 96.”

Surfside Police: “Yes, yes, I have officer Howard on her way.”

Mayor: “Nobody here. I’m not thrilled with the response time. If it had been an emergency, we’d be in trouble.”

Surfside Police: “Surfside Police.”

Mayor: “Yeah, this is Charles Burkett. You can cancel that call now. I’m not gonna wait anymore.”

Moments later, two Surfside officers, a man and a woman, arrived.

Officer: “What’s the issue? What happened?”

Mayor: “I’m dead already, the knife is in my neck.”

Officer: “OK, I’m glad it’s not that.”

The mayor appears to joke about the length of time he had to wait for their arrival.

“I’m dead now, and the mayor has died. The mayor is dead,” said Burkett, “and this is the guy that you need for something like that.”

Nobody on the beach was cited.

Officer: “Where’s the music coming from?”

Mayor: “It’s handled.”

Cop: “But was it on this side, or is it on this side?”

Mayor: “I’m not going to tell you.”

Cop: “Well, but we need to know so we can investigate.”

Sources within the town of Surfside government said Burkett later complained to ranking officers and that the female police officer seen on video was told to write a memo explaining herself for the 15-minute response time.

Burkett was in the public eye weeks ago when his Miami Beach-owned building was in such bad shape his tenants were ordered to move out.

“Is Charles Burkett gonna come and help me?” said a tenant. “Come on Charles Burkett, help me.”

Burkett was also front and center in the days that followed the Champlain South tower collapse over the summer.

Town sources indicate that this incident is the focus of a possible sex harassment incident. Those within the town government are questioning his behavior during this exchange.

One of the officers seen in the bodycam video has since contacted an attorney.

7News has reached out to Burkett for a comment but has yet to receive a response.
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