This Man’s Been Questioned by Police 258 Times, Searched 100 Times, Arrested 62 Times ‚Äď The Reason Why Has Sparked Outrage & a Lawsuit | Video | TheBlaze.com (external - login to view)
The Miami Gardens Police Department is facing racial profiling charges after officers allegedly questioned the same man 258 times and repeatedly arrested him for trespassing at the convenience store where he is an employee.
Earl Sampson, 28, says he has been questioned 258 times, searched more than 100 times, jailed 56 times and arrested for trespassing 62 times. The majority of the citations reputedly occurred at the store where he works.
ďAt least once a week for the last four years, Earl Sampson, 28, has been stopped by Miami Gardens police,Ē records show, the New York Daily News reported.
The only conviction on the manís record is for marijuana possession, the report adds.
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In the city of Miami Gardens, outside of Miami, FL, the police use aggressive campaigns of stop-and-frisk and absurd arrests to bolster their records, to the great detriment of the African-American majority who live there. For example, a young man named Earl Sampson has been stopped by Miami Gardens police 258 times; they've searched him more than 100 times; and they've arrested him for trespassing 56 times. He's never been convicted of anything apart from simple possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Sampson's trespassing arrests occurred at his place of work, a convenience store called the 207 Quickstop; Sampson was repeatedly arrested for trespassing there, over the loud objections of his employer, Alex Saleh, who owns the store, and who explained to police that Sampson was not trespassing in his store.
When Saleh gathered video evidence that showed the police had falsified their arrest reports and violated the rights of his customers, he was targeted for police harassment, including falsified vehicle stops and personal threats. Saleh is suing for federal civil rights violations, alleging that Miami Gardens police "routinely, under the direction of the cityís top leaders, directed its officers to conduct racial profiling, illegal stops and searches and other activities to cover up illegal misconduct."
Saleh, whose store is tucked between a public park and working-class neighborhoods, contends that Miami Gardens police officers have repeatedly used racial slurs to refer to his customers and treat most of them like they are hardened criminals.
ďPolice line them up and tell them to put their hands against the wall. I started asking myself ĎIs this normal?í I just kept thinking police canít do this,íí Saleh said.
Last year, Saleh, armed with a cache of videos, filed an internal affairs complaint about the arrests at his store. From that point, he said, police officers became even more aggressive.
One evening, shortly after he had complained a second time, a squadron of six uniformed Miami Gardens police officers marched into the store, he says. They lined up, shoulder to shoulder, their arms crossed in front of them, blocking two grocery aisles.
ďCan I help you?Ē Saleh recalls asking. It was an entire police detail, known as the departmentís Rapid Action Deployment (RAD) squad, whom he had come to know from their frequent arrest sweeps. One went to use the restroom, and five of them stood silently for a full 10 minutes. Then they all marched out.