Panicked Cops Arrest Witnesses of Miami Beach Shoot-Out

Just can’t let this one go! So while Miami Beach police finally found a gun in the car of a driver they shot early morning Monday, here’s how witnesses of the shooting were treated this weekend while filming the incident on their phones: “Narces Benoit said a Miami Beach officer grabbed his cell phone, said ‘You want to be [expletive] Paparazzi?’ and stomped on his phone before placing him in handcuffs and shoving the crunched phone in Benoit’s back pocket. He said the couple joined other witnesses already in cuffs and being watched by officers.” Don’t you find that… unusual? (Meanwhile someone was shooting four bystanders accidentally, perhaps the cops. Also, not that it necessarily has any bearing on the incident in court-admissible terms but in character terms, the shooting victim did not seem like a particularly good man, with a wide history of felonies.)

As this transpires, the sole discussion in town seems to be what to do to get the black folks to stop coming to town. “The people, how they dressed and behaved, was disgraceful. I was embarrassed,” said a resident. Or, as one white person at a resort hotel put it to a friend of mine: “It’s like they opened up the jails.”

Worried white people should know that there was another shooting over the weekend in Miami Beach as well!

Carlos King, a fire captain from North Carolina, drove his Mercedes into a “police perimeter,” and they shot his car. (He was passing another car.) He refused a breathalyzer and was arrested, and his lawyer disputes every bit of the police account.

So that’s a total of two shootings in one weekend, both quite suspect, both involving the cops firing frequently and apparently not very accurately. Who’s the menace?

Some useful background:

• The ACLU had to step in when a Miami Beach man was arrested. His crime? Calling 911 after having seen cops beating up gay men.

• Last year, a former Miami Beach detective plead guilty to having “kidnapped and tortured a Russian man in an attempt to extort more than $100,000.”

• Then there’s Adam Tavss, who shot an unarmed tourist in 2009. (And then shot someone else four days later, and then served two years under house arrest for having a marijuana farm in his house.)

• In Florida (and Maryland, and Massachusetts), the police department chooses to interpret the “two-party consent” laws around wiretapping to include filming people in public, which is patently ridiculous.

This is in a town with fewer than 400 cops, half of whom make six figures.