Friday, June 3rd, 2011

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.

17 Comments / Post A Comment

brent_cox (#40)

Add a dash of absurd comedy and Carl Hiassen's got his next book.

extracrispy (#10,544)

God, who the hell actually wants to live in Miami anyway? The abs and tits there, it's just embarrassing. Every other asshole is a house DJ or coke dealer and the gays aren't even that fun, the food sucks, don't get me started on south beach. Fun for a weekend, hell for a week.

Sabin Hinton (#8,850)

@moushi – Miami has a lot of good things too! Like crabs (the culinary kind), a fun loving culture and decent beaches. They do get a bit uptight, and most of the crowd coming down to South Beach these days, as a cabbie once said is from the "Hialeah Wal-Mart" crowd and Eurotrash (can I say that)?

Miami Police have a largely accurate perception that if the perp is black, you'll get cut some slack, because they be shootin' up some negros up innis.

So what you're saying is that the portrayal of the homicide unit in "Dexter" is basically a documentary…

jfruh (#713)


HiredGoons (#603)



zoom (#10,138)

@HiredGoons to quote the great sage Homer (Simpson) "Guns are a tool"

Sabin Hinton (#8,850)

I was actually mercifully out of town during the Memorial Day Weekend / Black Family Reunion. I find it hilarious that they make so much noise over this particular weekend. It's not they don't like loud obnoxious things, it's that they don't particularly like BLACK loud obnoxious things.

I also avoided the Calle Ocho celebration for this reason as well. My friends tell me was a wonderful time to grope and be groped. They won't be going back. But then, it's just celebrating culture, you know.

I have to admit, however, that as a person of color who has been harassed by police before 'cause I'm black, you know, I have not had that experience here in Miami, South Beach or otherwise. Maybe its because I'm older now? Slightly pudgy and less threatening?

HiredGoons (#603)

@Sabin Hinton: What are you talking about? Miami is a bastion of modesty, social decorum, and tasteful reserve.

Sabin Hinton (#8,850)

@HiredGoons Yeah, I noticed that right away too.

martha45 (#13,493)

just for hearing the incident is really scary

Jim Demintia (#1,815)

Not in Miami proper, BUT, about an hour north, in Lantana, the FBI just arrested a police officer who was robbing Latinos–pulling them over as they left check-cashing places and asking for their wallets so he could "check their papers." Naturally, this fine up-standing lawman also had a pile of Internal Affairs citations for doing things like showing up for work drunk and general incompetence. Florida!

Kevin (#2,559)

@Jim Demintia Are they hiring? A friend wants to know.

ep (#8,509)

Favorite bit from the article: "Though internal investigators found video footage of Chorens stuffing bags and taking them home, they exonerated him of theft charges."

Wasn't there also the cop who shot and killed a guy, did a week of desk duty, shot another guy, did another week behind the desk and then got fired for selling cellphones out of the evidence locker?

JG@twitter (#13,504)

The behavior of the police was gross. That said, 250,000 people, on one weekend, in a city of 90,00 is simply too much. I live in Miami Beach, just two blocks west of the UBW blast area @ Washington Ave. The city becomes unlivable for residents. That's simply a point of fact. Those of us who live here have every right to demand that out city strike a more sensible balance between home and destination. We're used to tourists, including drunken tourists who cause problems, but 250k of them at the same time is just too much.

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