Broward County Deputies Assaulted a Black Teen. But ‘Accountability’ Is Not Enough.

Video still from footage of a Broward County Sheriff's deputy assaulting a black teenager, April 2019.

Video still from footage of a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy assaulting a black teenager, April 2019. Photo: Screenshot via Broward County Sheriff’s Office

The sheriff’s office in Broward County, Florida, has promised to investigate two of its deputies for assaulting a black 15 year old on Thursday. An 18-second video shows the officials — Christopher Krickovich and Sergeant Greg LaCerra — pepper-spraying the teen in the face, banging his forehead against concrete, and punching him on the side of his head. (The teen’s name has not been disclosed in news reports, but he has been identified on social media as “Lucca.”) Footage of the incident has circulated nationally, prompting outraged responses from celebrities and lawmakers alike. Sheriff Gregory Tony tried to assuage the concerns of local black civic leaders by vowing a “tactful” investigation. “That’s the most electrifying and dangerous situation for a law enforcement administrator to handle,” Tony, the county’s first black sheriff, said on Saturday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Any time a white deputy is involved in contact with using force on a black youth, this thing blows up.”

That such a thing might “blow up” is appropriate. Years of activism and reporting have demonstrated the racism with which law enforcement is applied across the United States. In Broward County, its impact on black youth has been a point of special focus. A 2013 initiative led by Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, sought to eliminate disparities in the rates at which black students were suspended and arrested for in-school misconduct compared to their white peers. (During the 2011-2012 school year, black students were roughly two-thirds of those suspended, mostly for minor incidents — like using profanity or disrupting class — despite being 40 percent of the student body, according to the American Prospect.) Runcie partnered with local advocates and law enforcement to implement alternatives to suspension and prohibit arrests — 71 percent of which were for misdemeanors — in some cases where they had been allowed before. (Officers were, however, allowed to override some of these prohibitions: “I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” then-Sheriff Scott Israel told the Prospect.)

The effect was almost immediate. By the end of 2013, suspensions had dropped 40 percent and arrests of students had fallen 66 percent. A more humane tint began to color how local law enforcement treated black children for whom youthful mistakes often meant years of condemnation as criminals. But Thursday’s incident proves that progress on one front does not constitute a sea change any more than it precludes regression. After 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February, criticism of how Broward County Sheriff’s deputies handled the shooting — including their failure to immediately enter the school when gunshots were reported — prompted an emphasis on meeting perceived threats with swift violence, according to the Washington Post. Deputies have since been re-trained on how to subdue subjects in what one sheriff’s union official described to the Post as a “Fight Club atmosphere.” Some participants have suffered injuries in the process, ranging from fractured bones to a detached retina to brain bleeding.

So when dispatchers on Thursday received calls that a group of teenagers had gathered in a McDonald’s parking lot in Tamarac — a popular hangout for local high schoolers — and that some of them were fighting, they applied the kind of immediate and decisive force that many wished they had wielded against Cruz. Among the differences was that such force is used traditionally against black youth with no such justification — as examples ranging from the 2015 police assault on a black girl in Richland County, South Carolina, to the February police beating of a black girl in Chicago illustrate. For these victims, the misapplication of brutal police training was their lot well before Parkland. That the 15 year old on Thursday committed no clear infraction, let alone a crime, highlights the absurdity of continuing to apply it after. In effect, the training changes in Broward County seek to level against men like Cruz a degree of violence that, for many unarmed black children, was already a danger. Such are the wages of a culture that looks to atrocities like Parkland to shape law enforcement policy, but seems unable or unwilling to ensure that officers do not greet innocent people with the same violence.

Accordingly, Krickovich, who wrote the police report about Thursday’s incident, seemed to inflate Thursday’s threat to justify his response. In his telling, he was arresting another teen for trespassing when Lucca bent down to pick up the boy’s cell phone. “While I was dealing with the male on the ground, I observed his phone slide to the right of me and then behind me,” Krickovich wrote, according to the Sun Sentinel. “I observed a teen [Lucca] wearing a red tank top reach down and attempt to grab the male student’s phone.” In the video, another deputy — identified by the Sun Sentinel as LaCerra — is seen shoving Lucca, after which Lucca appears to object verbally. In the report, Krickovich wrote that Lucca “took an aggressive stance” toward LaCerra, “bladed his body and began clenching his fists.” (The video shows no such clear aggression.) LaCerra then pepper-sprayed Lucca in the face and threw him to the ground. Claiming that he feared for his safety, Krickovich “jumped on [Lucca],” grabbed the prone teen by both sides of his head, slammed his forehead against the concrete, and punched him before another deputy helped him apply handcuffs.

Whether the deputies were actually afraid is less knowable — and arguably less telling — than their confidence that claiming they were would exonerate them of wrongdoing. Racism shapes this expectation. Outlandish scenarios arise from police accounts of the dangers that young black men allegedly pose. Officer Darren Wilson equated Michael Brown to a “demon” during his testimony about the 2014 shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked protests and riots. “[He] had the most intense, aggressive face,” Wilson told a grand jury. “The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon.” If one accepts that Brown was “like a demon,” claims that he barreled toward a police officer through a hail of bullets become palatable. (No criminal charges were filed against Wilson.) If one concedes that Lucca was similarly endowed, assertions that the unarmed teen posed a threat to gun-toting sheriff’s deputies — despite video evidence to the contrary — is plausible enough for Krickovich to gamble on investigators siding with him.

In a sense, Thursday was a predictable outcome of asking an institution whose job is violence to escalate. Lucca and Cruz — or Lucca and anyone who seeks to harm police officers, really — exist on polar ends of most realistic threat spectra, but separating them is of secondary concern to those convinced that safety means reflexively treating more people like the latter. Krickovich banked on this ambiguity. Racism likely helped rationalize his response, despite it transpiring in a community whose administrators, in the past, sought to reduce disparities. Indeed, it is hard to believe that he and LaCerra would have treated a white child the same way they did Lucca. But when an assault like Thursday’s is permissible as long as officers claim they are afraid — and can convince investigators that their response was consistent with what others would have done in their place — then the bigger issue is more fundamental than whether they were white and the victim black. The problem, one of many, is the public and institutional instinct to let the worst set the standard rather than remain outliers. Humane rules of engagement evaporate where every suspect is a demon. And whatever the outcome of the department’s investigation, it is worth asking if that is a reasonable price to pay for feeling safe.

 

Zak Cheney-Rice, NYMag., “Broward County Deputies Assaulted a Black Teen. But ‘Accountability’ Is Not Enough.”, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/broward-county-deputy-beats-black-teen.html
Advertisements

Broward Police Officer who Assaulted 15 Year-Old Suspended From Force

 

Cellphones have been an instrumental tool in capturing alleged incidents of police brutality. This weekend, there were multiple videos taken of a Broward County, Florida police officer slamming a young black teenager’s head into the ground.

As the videos spread around social media, there were numerous calls for the officer involved to be fired. Deputy Christopher Krickovich has now been ordered to surrender his gun and badge as he is being suspended while the incident is investigated.

The arrest of 15 year-old Luca drew attention from Broward County’s Mayor, Mark Bogen. Bogen tweeted, “The behavior of these BSO deputies is outrageous & unacceptable. The officer who jumped the student, punched & banged his head should be fired. I have a problem with the deputy who threw him to the ground after he pepper sprayed him. He could’ve easily arrested him after the spray.”

Mayor Mark Bogen@mark_bogen

The behavior of these BSO deputies is outrageous & unacceptable The officer who jumped the student, punched & banged his head should be fired. I have a problem with the deputy who threw him to the ground after he pepper sprayed him He could’ve easily arrested him after the spray.

South Florida Sun Sentinel

@SunSentinel

Broward Sheriff’s Office investigates after video shows deputies pepper-spraying and punching teens https://trib.al/7OTBElf 

View image on Twitter
3,363 people are talking about this

Bishop Talbert Swann also weighed in, writing, “Demand that Broward Sheriff, Gregory Tony drop all the charges against Delucca, fire and arrest the racist, rogue officers that used excessive force and brutalized an innocent 15 year old boy.”

Bishop Talbert Swan

@TalbertSwan

Here’s another angle that shows @browardsheriff’s deputy pepper spraying unarmed Black boy, Lucca, who posed no threat. He then slammed his head into the concrete, arrested him & charged him with ASSAULTING the cops.

This is brutality.

Embedded video

Bishop Talbert Swan

@TalbertSwan

Demand that @browardsheriff Gregory Tony drop all the charges against Delucca, fire and arrest the racist, rogue officers that used excessive force and brutalized an innocent 15 year old boy.

Sign the Petition! http://chng.it/5KhTfFXw  pic.twitter.com/gR4sU4WZaN

View image on Twitter
5,317 people are talking about this

Golden State Warriors’ Coach and frequent Trump critic, Steve Kerr, also gave his opinion. “What the hell is wrong with our country? This is insane yet routine. So demoralizing,” wrote the Coach.

Steve Kerr

@SteveKerr

What the hell is wrong with our country? This is insane yet routine. So demoralizing.

Keith Boykin

@keithboykin

This is police brutality. https://twitter.com/TalbertSwan/status/1119612441049075713 

37.6K people are talking about this

Broward’s Sheriff, Gregory Tony is doing his best to manage the situation. Talbert Swann writes, “Gregory Tony held a meeting with Black Elected Officials & emphasizes a commitment to transparency & accountability.” The 15 year old boy involved in the incident is still facing charges.

 

TODD NEIKIRK, https://hillreporter.com/broward-police-officer-who-assaulted-15-year-old-suspended-from-force-32157

Officer suspended after video shows arrest of woman who called police

An officer was relieved of duty after a social media video showed three officers arresting a woman who called police to report a man who pointed a gun at her

Mar 15, 2019, Charles Rabin, Miami Herald

MIAMI — A Miami-Dade police officer was relieved of duty last week after video circulated on social media of three officers taking a woman to the ground, then handcuffing and arresting her — after the woman had called police to report a man had pointed a shotgun at her, police said.

The incident took place early last week in South Miami-Dade. The video shows three officers questioning the woman, then pushing her toward a fence on a sidewalk, before wrestling her to the ground and cuffing her.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez reacted publicly to the incident late Wednesday night, saying on Twitter that the department has begun an investigation after learning of the video. He also said that one of the officers — who hasn’t been named — has been relieved of duty pending an investigation.

“I find the actions depicted on the video very troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect and fairness,” Perez said.

Perez said while the woman was being taken into custody, police were questioning the man who allegedly pointed a weapon at her.

Police were notified of the incident with a call just after 7 p.m. March 5 about an aggravated assault with a shotgun at a home in the 11300 block of Southwest 201st Street.

According to her arrest report, 26-year-old Dyma Loving was walking past Frank Tumm, who began calling her a “whore.”

After sparring with Tumm, Loving told police he verbally threatened her and pointed a shotgun at her. Tumm denied he owned a weapon, police said. And a witness backed up his claim.

But a few minutes later, according to the report, the witness recanted and said Tumm did point a weapon at Loving. Police said while speaking with him, Tumm refused to leave his property.

At some point, police said, Loving “began acting belligerent” and “irate” and refused to obey commands. Officers said she began screaming and caused a scene. The two officers listed on the arrest form are A.I. Giraldo and J.F. Calderon. It wasn’t clear Thursday whether either one of them had been suspended.

As of Thursday, Tumm, the man questioned by police and accused of pointing the shotgun, hadn’t been arrested or charged with a crime. Perez said the officer relieved of duty was a tenured cop who was working with two rookies.

“I don’t know what got into his mind,” Perez said.

The cellphone video apparently taken by a friend of the woman pans in and out as she is taken to the ground roughly by police and handcuffed. It begins with the woman saying, “Don’t touch me,” as three police officers push her toward a chain-link fence. A friend asks, “Why you doing that?”

Then the woman, wearing a dark T-shirt and black shorts, says “I need to call my kids. I don’t understand.”

When a friend asks for the officer’s name, one of the cops replies, “We’re busy right now.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>A black woman Called Miami-Dade Police For Help After A Man Brandished A Weapon and threaten her life. Yet, She Was Arrested for being distraught <a href=”https://t.co/xQ2vvDZZsW”>pic.twitter.com/xQ2vvDZZsW</a></p>&mdash; Brother Tyrone X (@tyrone345345) <a href=”https://twitter.com/tyrone345345/status/1105946141340852224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>March 13, 2019</a></blockquote>
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
6,358 people are talking about this

Mar 15, 2019, Charles Rabin, Miami Herald, “Officer suspended after video shows arrest of woman who called police”, https://www.policeone.com/officer-misconduct-internal-affairs/articles/483235006-Officer-suspended-after-video-shows-arrest-of-woman-who-called-police/

Police Officer Used Official Database to Find Women for Dates and Sex

The officer, who has since resigned, is now the subject of an FBI investigation.

By Claire Hansen, Staff WriterMarch 11, 2019, at 3:27 p.m.

Authorities say Leonel Marines used a police database to contact women for dates and sex.ISTOCKPHOTO

A FLORIDA POLICE officer used a police database to find and contact women he solicited for dates and sex, authorities say.

Sgt. Leonel Marines, a 12-year veteran in the Bradenton Police Department resigned in October amid a department probe into the accusations and is now under FBI investigation for his conduct.

Authorities with the police department have discovered and interviewed some 150 women who Marines found and contacted using the police database containing driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.

Marines acted inappropriately with a subset of that group of women, using his title as a police officer. He contacted the women by social media, phone and in visits to their homes to “try to get dates” with the women, who were largely Hispanic, Melanie Bevan, the department’s chief, said at a news conference last week. Bevan said Marines was sometimes successful.

“To get right to the root of the matter, Leonel Marines was not utilizing this data for law enforcement purposes whatsoever,” Bevan said. She said his behavior “cast a dark shadow on our law enforcement profession.”

Marines was first caught using police data to contact women inappropriately in 2012 and was handed a three-day suspension, The Bradenton Herald reported. The behavior, however, continued.

The police department’s most recent investigation into Marines’ behavior began after he followed a woman to her parents’ house last summer, Bevan said. Marines knocked on the door of the home, and, when the woman’s parents answered, asked to speak with the woman, citing a domestic incident. The parents refused to allow Marines to speak with their daughter and filed a complaint with the police department, sparking the internal investigation.

An audit of Marines’ use of the police database containing licenses and registrations found a “very, very clear” trend that he disproportionately searched for female names and also conducted searches unrelated to cases he was working on with the department.

Marines resigned last fall after being placed on administrative leave as a result of the investigation, though the investigation continued.

Authorities found that Marines’ behavior may have been going on since 2012, Bevan said. The internal investigation, which at one point involved five investigators, concluded after finding several determinations of gross misconduct, including sex on duty. Marines would have been fired if he had not resigned, Bevan said.

A criminal case conducted by the FBI is ongoing, Bevan said.

 

 Claire Hansen, USNews, March 11, 2019, “Police Officer Used Official Database to Find Women for Dates and Sex”, https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2019-03-11/police-officer-used-official-database-to-find-women-for-dates-and-sex

Miami Beach police officer accused of sexual misconduct while on duty

Jorge Ortega suspended with pay while department investigates

By Tim Swift – Local10.com Digital Editor

 

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach police officer has been suspended after he was accused of sexual misconduct while on duty.

Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department, said Wednesday that Officer Jorge Ortega has been suspended with pay while the department conducts an internal affairs investigation.

“The department became aware of the allegation a little more than a week ago and launched a full investigation,” Miami Beach police Chief Daniel Oates said. “My action today is a reflection of the seriousness of the matter and the evidence that has been collected thus far.”

Oates said Ortega joined the force in March 2016.

Police did not give any further details about the allegations, including when or where the alleged misconduct took place.

Tim Swift – Local10.com, , “Miami Beach police officer accused of sexual misconduct while on duty”, https://www.local10.com/news/florida/miami-beach/miami-beach-police-officer-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-while-on-duty

Busted! Cop Caught On Video Sucker Punching Unarmed Black Man Lied On Police Report

A video showing an apparently unprovoked Florida cop sucker-punching an unarmed Black man earlier this month was more than just shocking; it also served as proof that the on-duty officer lied about the violent confrontation.

The fictional version told by Officer Adriel Dominguez began to unravel when a fellow officer breached the blue wall of silence by giving the Miami Herald footage of the encounter on Dec. 3. Dominguez was relieved of patrol duties while the police department was conducting an internal investigation and state prosecutors reviewed the case that left Lowell Poitier unconscious, the Herald reported on Wednesday.

See Also: Video Catches Louisville Police Beating Black Driver For No Apparent Reason

Meanwhile, the officer who came forward with the video, Frederick Dominguez, who’s not related to Adriel Dominguez, has demanded whistle-blower protection from his fellow officers.

On that fateful date, police officers responded to a call about a disruptive man at a South Beach restaurant. On a police report, Adriel Dominguez wrote that Poitier, 35, clenched his fist and took a fighting stance in the encounter. Fearing for his life, the officer said he punched Poitier.

However, the video didn’t show any of that. It instead appeared to show the officer grabbing Poitier and knocking him out. The Black man, who suffered a cut lip and other minor injuries, ended up being charged with misdemeanor assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s outrageous behavior. It’s an assault in broad daylight. He clearly did not take a fighting stance or clench his fist to fight the officer like it says in the report,” stated Michael Pizzi, the attorney representing Frederick Dominguez.

The police report claimed that Poitier called the officers “crackers” and appeared defiant. He allegedly said, “what, what,” and made a fist, as he got ready to assault Dominguez. But the officer, obviously lying, said he struck first in self-defense.

After obtaining a copy of the video, Frederick Dominguez noticed the clear contradictions between what appeared in the footage and what Adriel Dominguez alleged in his report.

The investigation could reach high up the law enforcement ladder. Police commanders should have known about the incident but failed to act. Officers are required to submit their body cameras at the end of each shift, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates said. Senior officers must review any footage that includes the use of force, yet they remained silent if they saw it. Oates claimed that he was made aware of the video on Wednesday morning, more than a week after Poitier was assaulted.

“This is obviously a very serious matter,” Oates said.

Still, the powerful police union has the back of Officer Adriel Dominguez and other any officer in the line of fire. It remained to be seen if any of them will ultimately get punished.

December 13, 2018, newsone.com, “Busted! Cop Caught On Video Sucker Punching Unarmed Black Man Lied On Police Report”, https://newsone.com/3840303/sucker-punch-video-miami-police/

For Framing Innocent Black Men, Former Florida Police Chief Gets 3 Years in Prison

by Tribune News Service | November 28, 2018 By Jay Weaver And David Ovalle

Raimundo Atesiano, the former Biscayne Park police chief who directed his officers to frame innocent black men for a series of unsolved burglaries, admitted he wanted to appease community leaders and polish the village’s property crimes record.

Even in a small village of about 3,000 residents, the pressure was just too much, he said.

“When I took the job, I was not prepared,” Atesiano told a federal judge on Tuesday. “I made some very, very bad decisions.”

His apologies did not sway U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, who on Tuesday sentenced the 53-year-old former cop to three years in prison. He allowed Atesiano to remain free for two weeks before surrendering so he can care for his mother, who is dying of leukemia.

In September, Atesiano pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge of depriving the three suspects of their civil rights because he and the officers charged them without a legal basis. Atesiano’s conspiracy conviction carried up to 10 years in prison.

Atesiano resigned from the Biscayne Park force in 2014 and previously worked as an officer for Sunny Isles Beach, Hialeah and Miami-Dade County Corrections.

Atesiano’s sentencing ended an ugly chapter in Biscayne Park’s recent history, where allegations of racism — the three men falsely charged are black — tainted the police department’s culture of law enforcement in the mostly white community.

Village leaders, including Police Chief Luis Cabrera, a former veteran officer in Miami, say they have reformed the department.

Over the summer, three former Biscayne Park police officers who had worked under Atesiano while he was the chief in 2013 and 2014 pleaded guilty to civil rights violations stemming from the false arrests of the three suspects. All three ex-cops cooperated with the FBI and prosecutors Harry Wallace, Donald Tunnage and Trent Reichling in the hope of reducing their prison time.

In August, Officers Charlie Dayoub, 38, and Raul Fernandez, 62, pleaded guilty to falsifying the arrest affidavits for a 16-year-old black suspect for four unsolved break-ins in June 2013. That was just a month before then-police chief Atesiano touted the town’s 100 percent burglary clearance record at a village commission meeting. In October, Judge Moore sent each to prison for a maximum one-year term.

The charges against the teen were eventually dropped after the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office noticed the four arrest affidavits all used similar vague language — that the “investigation revealed” T.D. employed the same “M.O.” and the homes had a “rear door pried open.”

A third Biscayne Park police officer admitted falsifying arrest warrants for two men at the direction of Atesiano during 2013 and 2014. Those men were in their 30s at the time. Guillermo Ravelo pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge that he violated the rights of the two falsely accused black men. and used excessive force on a Hispanic man during a traffic stop. A different federal judge, Cecilia Altonaga, sentenced Ravelo, 37, to two years and three months in prison.

In January 2013, Atesiano ordered Ravelo and Dayoub to arrest Clarence Desrouleaux on charges of breaking into a pair of homes in Biscayne Park, according to a factual statement filed with the ex-chief’s plea agreement. Atesiano told the officers to take Desrouleaux into custody because “there was reliable information that [he] had forged and cashed a check stolen during the course of” a third home burglary, according to the statement.

Desrouleaux, 35, pleaded guilty and ended up getting sentenced to five years in prison. He was deported to Haiti. In light of new evidence about his false arrest, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office threw out his wrongful conviction.

Also, in February 2014, Atesiano told Ravelo that he wanted him to arrest Erasmus Banmah, 31, for five unsolved vehicle burglaries, despite knowing there was “no evidence” that he had committed the crimes, prosecutors said in court records. A couple of days later, Ravelo filled out five arrest forms falsely accusing Banmah of the vehicle burglaries at five different street locations in Biscayne Park.

The admissions of the three Biscayne Park officers to the false police arrests magnified the evidence against Atesiano, exposing not only his leading role in the civil-rights conspiracy but also his lies to the town’s leaders. The police department reported clearing 29 of 30 burglary cases during Atesiano’s tenure as chief, but at least 11 of those cases were based on false arrest reports, according to federal authorities.

In the aftermath of Atesiano’s indictment in June, the Miami Herald obtained internal public records suggesting that during his tenure as chief, the command staff pressured some Biscayne Park officers into targeting random black people to clear cases.

“If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries,” one cop said in an internal probe ordered in 2014. “They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.”

In a report from that probe, four officers — a third of the small force — told an outside investigator they were under marching orders to file the bogus charges to improve the department’s crime stats. While only one officer specifically mentioned targeting blacks, former Biscayne Park village manager Heidi Shafran, who ordered the investigation after receiving a string of letters from disgruntled officers, said the message seemed clear for cops on the street.

In the continuing fallout from the scandal, Miami-Dade prosecutors are reviewing old criminal arrests in Biscayne Park during Atesiano’s tenure in 2013-2014. The Miami-Dade Public Defender’s office has been examining scores of cases going back to 2010, when Atesiano was a patrol cop there, hoping to clear records of anyone who was wrongfully arrested.

“He fabricated evidence. He damaged lives. Even before he was chief, Atesiano issued 2,200 traffic tickets himself in one year, fabricated cases, and wrongfully arrested innocent individuals,” Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez said. “He created a culture of corruption that has further eroded public trust in the criminal justice system. Just as appalling is the damage Atesiano has done to law-abiding, hardworking, police officers and chiefs.”

Atesiano was not charged with violating anyone’s civil rights because of their race. His lawyers called into question “any notion that random people were targeted for arrests or that race played any factor in the arrests of any individuals.”

“Quite the contrary,” Atesiano’s defense attorney Richard Docobo wrote in court papers seeking a two-year prison sentence. He said the three men falsely arrested in 2013 and 2014 had a history of criminal activity in the suburban town north of Miami.

“They were no saints,” Dacobo told the judge on Tuesday.

The judge still gave Atesiano 36 months in prison — three more than what the government had asked for.

(c)2018 Miami Herald

 

By Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, November 28, 2018 , Tribune News Service, “For Framing Innocent Black Men, Former Florida Police Chief Gets 3 Years in Prison”, http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/tns-police-chief-misconduct.html

Key West attorneys recommend city settle police brutality claim for $100K

<style>.mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%}</style>

Video shows Fantasy Fest preacher’s cord being cut as he warns passersby of sinning

A Key West bar owner was cited by police for criminal mischief after he took a pair of scissors and cut the cord to an amplifier being used by religious extremists who visit Fantasy Fest each year to tell various people that they are bound for hell.

Gwen Filosa, November 02, 2018, “Key West attorneys recommend city settle police brutality claim for $100K”, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article221035530.html#storylink=cpy

3 Miami police officers face drug charges in FBI sting

Authorities say the three officers received thousands of dollars to protect shipments of illegal drugs

Oct 24, 2018,  Associated Press

MIAMI — Three Miami police officers are facing federal drug trafficking charges after they were snared in an FBI undercover operation.Authorities say the three received thousands of dollars in payments to protect purported shipments of illegal drugs and drug proceeds. The FBI says the officers at times transported purported cocaine and other drugs themselves.

new-schonton-harris-james-archibald-kevin-harris-_1540320892894_13007531_ver1-0_1280_720

Investigators identified the officers as Schonton Harris, Kelvin Harris and James Archibald. The two Harrises are not related. Court records did not immediately list attorneys to represent the officers.

The FBI says the people the officers thought were drug dealers were actually undercover agents or cooperating witnesses. In one instance, investigators say Schonton Harris was paid $1,500 for providing an undercover FBI agent a Miami police uniform and badge that would be used by a hit man.

 

Oct 24, 2018,  Associated Press, “3 Miami police officers face drug charges in FBI sting”, https://www.policeone.com/drug-interdiction-narcotics/articles/481834006-3-Miami-police-officers-face-drug-charges-in-FBI-sting/

Police pinned a 14-year-old girl to the ground and punched her because she was acting ‘aggressive’

Susanna Heller, Oct. 22, 2018, 12:16 PM

coral springs thumbail
The video has gone viral.
 victoria_babyyy/Instagram

  • A video circulating online appears to show police in Coral Springs, Florida, pinning a 14-year-old girl to the ground and punching her.
  • In a statement on Twitter, authorities said they were responding to a call about “unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance” outside a mall.
  • Authorities said the girl exhibited “aggressive behavior” and “resisted arrest, and in order to have her comply she was struck in the side.”
  • People think the footage is an upsetting example of police brutality.
  • “It was just too much because it just makes you angry,” Jessica Dennis, the girl’s mother, said of the video.

A viral video appears to show police in Coral Springs, Florida, pinning an unnamed 14-year-old black girl to the ground and punching her. The video was first posted to Instagram by Victoria Cedeno, who said she is the girl’s cousin.

In the video — which had over 6,000 views at the time of this post — someone off camera can be heard shouting, “Why are you hitting her? She can’t do it. She can’t do that. Her hand’s underneath her.”

</div>
<p style=”margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;”>
<a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/BpH_fFil4ra&#8221; style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_blank”>My 14yrs old cousin which is a girl should not have been handled this way!</a></p> <p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”>A post shared by Victoria Cedeno ❤ (@victoria_babyyy) on Oct 19, 2018 at 11:33am PDT<time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2018-10-19T18:33:22+00:00″>Oct 19, 2018 at 11:33am PDT</time>
</p>
</div>
</blockquote>
//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed”>

My 14yrs old cousin which is a girl should not have been handled this way!

A post shared by Victoria Cedeno ❤ (@victoria_babyyy) on Oct 19, 2018 at 11:33am PDT

The video also picked up steam on Twitter.

“OUTRAGEOUS! This is a Coral Springs police officer repeatedly punching a 14-YEAR-OLD BLACK GIRL,” one user wrote. “This is WHY WE KNEEL!! RETWEET THIS!”

People found the video to be upsetting

Some thought it was an unnecessary use of force.

Many said the video perfectly illustrated the importance of kneeling for the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and racial injustice, as popularized by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016.

The Coral Springs Police Department said the video ‘only shows the end of the story’

On Thursday, the Coral Springs Police Department released a statement on Twitter addressing the situation.

In the post, the police department said the viral video is misleading. “As with all social media posts, it shows only the end of the story, not the incident in its entirety which led up to the arrest,” the statement said.

The authorities said they were responding to a call about “unruly teens, who had been harassing patrons and causing a disturbance” outside a mall. In the post, they said the girl in the video had been “seen striking another teen patron.”

According to the police, the teens were given a trespass warning, but they later returned to the mall.

One male teen was then “taken into custody without incident. That’s when the girl in the video “began cursing, attempting to incite the other teens.”

The police statement said the 14-year-old girl had exhibited “aggressive behavior” and “resisted arrest, and in order to have her comply she was struck in the side.”

Police said that as they put the girl in a patrol car, she “violently kicked” one officer. Per the statement, she was arrested, identified, and brought to a juvenile assessment center.

Speaking to Fox-affiliated WSVN, the girl’s mother, Jessica Dennis, said she didn’t understand how this could happen.

“She clearly wasn’t aggressive,” she said. “Everyone could see she was laying there, so I just want justice to be served.”

Dennis and her daughter have hired attorney Meeghan Moldof, who said the officer who punched the girl used excessive force. Dennis said the video was hard for her to watch and made her feel like she “can’t trust” local police.

“I really couldn’t keep watching it. It was just too much, because it just makes you angry,” she said. “I mean, I was heartbroken.”

This incident isn’t the first of its kind. Earlier this year, two white police officers who pepper-sprayed a 16-year-old black teenager who was suspected of skipping school defended their actions by saying he was giving them “attitude.” In July, a Chicago police officer was under investigation after threatening to jail two black men for walking in the street.

 

Susanna Heller, Oct. 22, 2018, thisisinsider, “Police pinned a 14-year-old girl to the ground and punched her because she was acting ‘aggressive'”, https://www.thisisinsider.com/police-pinned-punched-a-14-year-old-girl-for-acting-aggressive-2018-10