Monday, November 25, 2013
USA: In Miami Gardens, store video catches cops in the act
Those tapes, and Sampson’s 38-page criminal history — including charges never even pursued by prosecutors — raise some troubling questions about the conduct of the city’s police officers.
Source/Credit: Miami Herald
By Julie K. Brown | November 21, 2013
Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years.
He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.
Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.
Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.
Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on 207th Street in Miami Gardens.
But Sampson isn’t loitering. He works as a clerk at the Quickstop.
So how can he be trespassing when he works there?
It’s a question the store’s owner, Alex Saleh, 36, has been asking for more than a year as he watched Sampson, his other employees and his customers, day after day, being stopped and frisked by Miami Gardens police. Most of them, like Sampson, are poor and black.
And, like Sampson, many of them have been cited for minor infractions, sometimes as often as three times in the same day.
Saleh was so troubled by what he saw that he decided to install video cameras in his store. Not to protect himself from criminals, because he says he has never been robbed. He installed the cameras — 15 of them — he said, to protect him and his customers from police.
Since he installed the cameras in June 2012 he has collected more than two dozen videos, some of which have been obtained by the Miami Herald. Those tapes, and Sampson’s 38-page criminal history — including charges never even pursued by prosecutors — raise some troubling questions about the conduct of the city’s police officers.
The videos show, among other things, cops stopping citizens, questioning them, aggressively searching them and arresting them for trespassing when they have permission to be on the premises; officers conducting searches of Saleh’s business without search warrants or permission; using what appears to be excessive force on subjects who are clearly not resisting arrest and filing inaccurate police reports in connection with the arrests.
“There is just no justifying this kind of behavior,’’ said Chuck Drago, a former police officer and consultant on police policy and the use of force. “Nobody can justify overstepping the constitution to fight crime.”
Repeated phone messages and emails to Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd and City Manager Cameron Benson asking for comment on this story were not returned.
Boyd did release a statement, saying that the department is committed to serving and protecting the citizens and businesses in the city.
But Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Florida, said that’s exactly what Boyd is NOT doing.
“Where is the police chief in all this? In a police department in a city this size, this kind of behavior could not escape his attention. Doesn’t the City Commission know that they are exposing the city to either massive liability for civil rights violations? Either that, or they are going to wake up one day and find the U.S. Department of Justice has taken over its police department.’’
Saleh and his attorney, Steve Lopez, are preparing to file a federal civil rights lawsuit, contending that the police department has routinely, under the direction of the city’s top leaders, directed its officers to conduct racial profiling, illegal stops and searches and other activities to cover up illegal misconduct.
[ more ... ] http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/v-fullstory/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html
Read original post here: In Miami Gardens, store video catches cops in the act
This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Ahmadiyya Times.
Top read stories during last 7 days
The station will broadcast in the Greater London area and listeners will be able to listen via DAB radio and online on http://www.voiceofi...
"The president's speech helped realize what he can do to educate Americans about the contributions of Muslims. I was there because...
He was blessed to have served as President of the Santa Maria Jamā'at in the 1990s and Vice President of Los Angeles Inland Jamā’at dur...
Echoing the president’s call to look past religious and sectarian differences, the True Islam campaign invites Muslims of all sects and peo...
A religious teacher named Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who proclaimed himself as the messiah prophesised in the Semitic religions, starting preachin...
AHMADIYYA TIMES is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, nor in any way associated with any of the community's official websites. Ahmadiyya Times is an independently run and privately managed news / contents archival website; and does not claim to speak for or represent the official views of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Ahmadiyya Times assumes full responsibility for the contents of its web pages. The views expressed by the authors and sources of the news archives do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Ahmadiyya Times. All rights associated with any contents archived / stored on this website remain the property of the original owners.