This week, officers with the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) were filmed roughing up black spring breakers, beating a black woman’s head into the street, and shooting a man on Ocean Drive.
What We Know:
- Locals and visitors have long complained that MBPD habitually roughs up black visitors to South Beach. But after this weekend, black city leaders and activists are fed up.
- The Miami-Dade County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is asking City Manager Jimmy Morales and Police Chief Richard Clements to resign.
- The chapter’s president, Ruben Roberts, told New Times the NAACP has a positive relationship with former MBPD Chief Dan Oates, who regularly met with the association and often resisted calls from other Miami Beach politicians to arrest more partygoers. Roberts said he warned those politicians last summer that replacing Oates with Clements might be a bad call and could lead to more violent interactions between black visitors and law enforcement.
- Roberts spoke Friday surrounded by leaders from the ACLU and Miami’s Civilian Oversight Panel in an empty lot in Overtown. “We have Super Bowl, we have Gay Pride, we have New Year’s. That never happens during those weekends.”
- Jeanne Baker, who chairs the police practice committee of the ACLU of Florida, said Miami Beach “has a long and troubled history of racial discrimination.” She, too, called for a more diverse police department. “We told the City of Miami Beach to put an end to the maltreatment of Black people and to stop the use of excessive force, last Friday. They didn’t listen. Now, it’s time we show the City of Miami Beach, we’ve had enough, it’s time for collective action.”
In a statement received from Miami Beach Police Department, Chief Richard Clements stated: “If you come to Miami Beach to cause problems, we will intervene and take enforcement action.”
Jackie Lacey’s Husband Charged with Assault
David Lacey has been charged with assault after pointing a gun at a group of Black Lives Matter protestors on March 2nd, 2020, and saying, “I will shoot you, get off of my porch.”
- On Monday, Mr. Lacey was charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm by the state attorney general. The charges, first reported by Politico, were filed in Superior Court of the State of California.
#BREAKING This morning Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband pulled a gun out on Black Lives Matter activists who protested his wife in front of their house. @BLMLA pic.twitter.com/wnCFMMvaWV
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) March 2, 2020
- In a statement from her campaign, Lacey claimed her husband was afraid, “My husband acted in fear for my safety after we were subjected to months of harassment that included a death threat no less than a week earlier.”
- Mr. Lacey formerly worked for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as an investigative auditor before he retired in 2016.
- Dr. Melina Abdullah, a prominent member of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, was named among the victims in the assault charges. She made a public statement on Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles, saying that Jackie Lacey has “refused to engage the public that elected her, and it’s her duty to do so.” Abdullah also issued a statement on her personal Instagram page.
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On March 2, 2020 #JackieLaceyMustGo’s husband pointed a gun inches from my chest and said “I will shoot you; I don’t care who you are.” Because I have so little faith in the criminal justice system, and because he’s the spouse of the County’s lead prosecutor, I didn’t think he’d ever be charged. Today, the Attorney General announced that David Lacey would be charged with 3 misdemeanor counts, one for each of us whose life he threatened. And we know if he weren’t the DA’s husband he’d have been immediately arrested and charged with felonies. In the midst of it all, Lacey has cast herself and her husband as victims, even though he pointed a very large loaded gun at protestors who they know to be peaceful. Not once has she or he apologized or shown any remorse or empathy. They’ve attempted to advance twisted legal arguments and utilize their PR machine to misrepresent the truth. But we see through it. This is just another reason that she must go…as if the blood of 618 people killed by police isn’t enough. She should step down now. #DropOutJackie
- Black Lives Matter protests have long followed D.A. Lacey. For almost three years, BLM has held weekly protests outside of her office, calling for her resignation, citing her failure to file charges against officers in more than 340 fatal police shootings.
Jackie Lacey is up for reelection this November. If she wins, it will be her third term. She faces former police officer and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.
Ex Officer Who Killed Rayshard Brooks Sues Mayor and Police Department for Firing
After being charged with the killing of Rayshard Brooks, former police officer Garrett Rolfe is suing to get his job back. Rolfe claims that his constitutional rights were violated when he was fired.
What We Know:
- On Tuesday, Rolfe and his attorney filed a suit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and interim police Chief Rodney Bryant in Fulton County Superior Court. It states his dismissal violates the procedural due process and equal rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
- Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan were both arrested and charged after Rolfe fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot on June 12th. Police surveillance and body cams showed the officers following up on a complaint and conducting a sobriety test. When they tried to arrest Brooks, he resisted, grabbed a Taser and fired it at Rolfe, who shot him twice in the back. Rolfe is charged with 11 counts, including facing felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, violation of oath, and criminal damage to property for killing Brooks.
- In the lawsuit, Rolfe says that his use of force at the time of the shooting “was proper and in compliance with Georgia law and police training provided to him by the City of Atlanta Police Department.” It continues to say that he was fired “without an investigation, without proper notice, without a pre-disciplinary hearing and in direct violation of the municipal code of the city of Atlanta.”
- It alleges that Officer Brosnan engaged in similar conduct, yet he was not dismissed, put on leave, or assigned to non-enforcement duties.
“Many other City of Atlanta Police Officers who have been charged with crimes, including felonies, have remained employed during the investigation and pendency of their criminal charges,” the petition says.
- Rolfe wants to be reinstated immediately, including back pay and restoration of any compensation or leave from employment. The spokesperson for the police department and the mayor’s office have not responded publicly to Rolfe’s lawsuit.
- On the same day, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard filed a motion to revoke Rolfe’s $500,000 bond after he received an email from the defendant’s attorney that he went to Florida for vacation without first obtaining permission, confirmed using the records from the ankle monitor. The bond order states the defendant could only leave his home to attend medical, legal, or work obligations.
Rolfe’s attorney has not commented on the district attorney’s motion to revoke his bond.
Man Beaten, Robbed of his Six-Figure Life Savings Outside Huntington Park Chase Bank
A man was beaten and robbed of $200,000 at a Huntington Park Bank parking lot in California last week. Police are currently looking for the suspect.
What We Know:
- The suspect’s name is Francisco Cornejo. According to his attorney, Nathan Soleimani, Cornejo parked closely to the bank because he knew he was going to be leaving with a large amount of money. The suspect grabbed and beat him before he could even make it back to his car. Cornejo had just sold his home and was withdrawing everything he had from the bank.
- Soleimani stated to the police, “He was literally fighting for his life savings. And when he was being beaten, he was doing his best to try and retain the bag that he brought with him.” The surveillance videos show the suspects running away from the scene while Cornejo laid injured on the ground. Chase bank has been cooperating with law enforcement during their investigation.
- Cornejo told the police that he thinks the attack may have been planned because someone had to know he was going to withdraw the money. He was an easy target for someone to rob because he was carrying a “bulky” bag because some of the money barely fit in it. He suffers from a dislocated shoulder and arm and has bruises along his body.
- People are urged to be aware of their surroundings by Law Enforcement Today. They say to be aware no matter where you are because criminals often wait for victims whom they believe they can get money from quickly or by kidnapping them. Law Enforcement Today has released articles before of crimes that have happened recently.
The Huntington Park Police urges anyone who has information on this incident to come forward.
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