Our nation's debt is literally indenturing our children to our international debt holders, but most Americans don't care because they are more concerned about the latest saga involving Snooki on Jersey Shore rather than what really matters, our country’s future.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Miami Beach police deny destroying cell phone of witness who captured Urban Beach Week shooting video - Miami Beach - MiamiHerald.com

This whole situation sounds like the Miami police are up to no good. The police didn't just confiscate people's cell phones but also took a reporter's camera, which makes it seem like they have something to hide like the fact that there was never a gun in the first place.

I get it the guy tried to gun down a cop which is illegal and plain stupid but as you can see from the video his car is stopped when the shooting starts. Now the cops state that he looked like he was reaching for a gun but if that was the case why did it take them several days to locate said handgun in the car. Maybe the real Miami CSI needs to call Horatio Cain if they can't locate a handgun inside of a car after an hour never mind a couple of days. Also it appears from other articles that the only people that were shot in this incident was the suspect and four innocent bystanders (who were shot by the police).

Look there are a lot more good cops then there are bad cops so I generally give police the benefit of the doubt but give me a break these cops were out of control.

Facing mounting criticism over accusations that Miami Beach police seized cameras and destroyed cellphones after killing a motorist who allegedly had a gun during Urban Beach Week, city officials cast doubt Tuesday on the account from a witness who said police held him at gunpoint and tried to confiscate his video of the shooting.

Narces Benoit, 35, of West Palm Beach, has told reporters that officers put a gun to his head, placed him in handcuffs and stomped on his cellphone after realizing he was recording the May 30th shooting from just a few feet away. Benoit released the video Monday after selling it for an undisclosed amount to CNN, which aired the clip and an interview with Benoit.

However, an unsigned statement issued late Tuesday by a city spokeswoman took issue with Benoit’s statements. The statement said police stopped him not because he was filming but because he matched the description of a man seen fleeing the shooting scene, and that he ignored officers’ demands to stop. He was taken in for questioning as a witness, the statement said. 

The statement also questioned Benoit’s account that an officer “smashed” his phone — the city e-mailed photos of the phone’s front and back showing only small cracks on the lower right front screen — and said Benoit didn’t turn over a copy of the video until he was served with a subpoena.

“This damage does not appear consistent with Mr. Benoit’s statements to the media that his phone was ‘smashed,’ ” the statement said.

The statement added that several other cellphones were seized by police during the investigation.

Reese Harvey, Benoit’s attorney, told The Miami Herald late Tuesday that his client turned over the video to police Friday without having received a subpoena. He said the phone’s damage is “consistent” with Benoit’s account of his altercation with officers.

“We think the video speaks for itself,” he said, referring to images showing an officer pointing a gun at Benoit and his girlfriend as they sat in their SUV.

Harvey said Benoit is considering filing a lawsuit and internal-affairs complaint.

Benoit’s allegations — coupled with a WPLG-ABC 10 report that an officer temporarily seized one of its video cameras after the fatal shooting of Raymond Herisse — have spurred criticism from photojournalists and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The National Press Photographers Association sent a stern letter to Police Chief Carlos Noriega on Tuesday requesting the release of any confiscated cameras and that officers receive better training on how to handle being on film.

“Unfortunately the reliance by your officers to question, detain, interfere with and seize property of those engaged in lawful activities under color of law is reprehensible,” wrote association attorney Mickey Osterreicher. 

Also Tuesday, John de Leon, president of the Greater Miami chapter of the ACLU, said police have “set themselves up for legal actions in connection with the suppression of peoples’ ability to document what police were doing.”

Videos shot by Benoit and a man in a Collins Avenue apartment show Herisse driving down Collins as shots ring out, and then a dozen Miami Beach and Hialeah police officers opening fire on his Hyundai.

Police said the incident began after Herisse struck a police officer with his car. Yet to be determined: whether Herisse fired at officers. After several days, police found a handgun in his car.

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