Skip to comments.Witnesses said they were forced to hide video after Beach shooting(FL)
Posted on 06/04/2011 5:32:01 AM PDT by marktwain
Two witnesses to Mondays fatal shooting on South Beach say police tried to intimidate them and force them to give up an up-close video of the incident. Police officials say the couple has not lodged a complaint.
A West Palm Beach couple who filmed Monday mornings deadly officer-involved shooting on South Beach has accused officers of intimidation, destroying evidence and twisting the facts in the chaos surrounding the Memorial Day shootings a charge that police officials say they know nothing about.
Meanwhile, a South Carolina man charged with DUI in a second officer-involved shooting that morning says he is innocent.
On Thursday, The Miami Herald spoke to the couple that saw the end of the 4 a.m. police chase on Collins Avenue, then watched and filmed from just a few feet away as a dozen officers fired their guns repeatedly into Raymond Herisses blue Hyundai. They say the only reason they were able to show the video to a reporter is because they hid a SIM card after police allegedly pointed guns at their heads, threw them to the ground and smashed the cell phone that took the video.
The three-minute video captured on Narces Benoits HTC EVO phone begins as officers crowd around the east side of Herisses car with guns drawn. Roughly 15 seconds into the video, officers open fire.
Benoit filmed the incident from the sidewalk on the northeast corner of 13th Street and Collins Avenue, close enough to see some officers faces and individual muzzle flashes.
Shortly after the gunfire ends, an officer points at Benoit and police can be heard yelling for him to turn off the camera. The voices are muffled at times. The 35-year-old car stereo technician drops his hand with the camera and hurries back to his Ford Expedition parked further east on 13th Street.
The video shows Benoit get into the car, where his girlfriend, Ericka Davis, sat in the drivers seat. He raises his camera and an officer is seen appearing on the drivers side with his gun drawn, pointed at them.
The video ends as more officers are heard yelling expletives, telling the couple to turn the video off and get out of the car.
They put guns to our heads and threw us on the ground, Davis said.
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 Benoits back pocket. He said the couple joined other witnesses already in cuffs and being watched by officers, who were on the lookout for two passengers who, police believe at the time, had bailed out of Herisses car. It is still not known whether any passengers were in the car.
Four bystanders were shot in the gunfire and three officers suffered minor injuries.
Benoit and Davis said officers smashed several other cell phones in the ensuing chaos.
Benoit said the officers eventually uncuffed him after gunshots rang out elsewhere and he discreetly removed the SIM card and placed it in his mouth.
Officers again took his phone, demanding his video. He said they took him to a nearby mobile command center, snapped a picture of him, then took him to police headquarters and conducted a recorded interview while he kept the SIM card in his mouth. He insisted his phone was broken.
He was given a copy of a police property record receipt dated May 30. The couple has hired an attorney.
We just want the right thing to be done, Davis said. That was just too much.
Police Chief Carlos Noriega said the couples allegations were the first hed heard of officers allegedly threatening people or destroying cameras or cell phones. If Benoit made a complaint, Internal Affairs would investigate, the chief said.
The scenes from the couples video that a reporter described to Noriega reflect the tension officers went through early Monday morning as they tried to get a handle on the pandemonium..
I was there during the second shooting and it was quite a chaotic scene, he said. We were trying to figure out who was who and it was a difficult process. Not once did I see cameras being taken or smashed.
He also said a lot of our officers had their guns drawn, including myself.
Noriega also noted that Benoits video is evidence and that it could help investigators.
But, Benoit said he is considering an offer from a website to sell the video.
Police say the chase Benoit and Davis saw began around 16th Street after Herisse hit a Hialeah officer with his car during a traffic stop and then peeled off down Collins Avenue, hitting or nearly hitting four other officers before skidding to a stop amid gunfire near 13th Street.
Police say they received reports that Herisse was shooting from his car, and on Wednesday they found a black Berretta 92-F semiautomatic pistol in his Hyundai.
Police also learned Thursday that he is believed to be the gunman in a November armed robbery at a BP gas station in which a clerk was shot in the face. Police say the clerk identified Herisse in a photo lineup after detectives recognized the slain 22-year-old in The Miami Herald.
Ballistics tests will be needed to prove that Herisse indeed shot the gun, and could take weeks.
But Benoit and Davis said that while they saw bullets flying everywhere as Herisse drove south for two blocks, the only ones they saw doing any shooting were police.
The couple was able to film the shooting because they were slowly driving north on Collins Avenue near 13th Street when gunshots rang out. They reversed east down 13th Street to get away from Herisses oncoming Hyundai.
They were shooting at him the whole time, Benoit said.
Also on Thursday, police released an arrest affidavit for Carlos King, 45, who allegedly drove his 2007 Mercedes Benz in a drunken stupor into a police perimeter on Washington Avenue, leading an officer to shoot at him before crashing into an empty squad car.
No one was injured.
Police say King, a 17-year-veteran and fire captain with the North Charleston Fire Department, smelled like alcohol and admitted to drinking and crashing after swerving around a car he thought was travelling too slow.
Kings lawyer, Saam Zangeneh, said his client wasnt guilty of charges of driving under the influence and refusing to take a breathalyzer. He said he expected further probing by himself and others would portray a more accurate depiction of what transpired that night.
King said he was shocked by police actions.
The way these police act is crazy, he said.
I do not know if filing a complaint with the department whose officers did all the above would be my first thought.
I hope Benoit’s attorney guides them wisely. Such a move, as much as it rankles, might be legally necessary in order to be able to bring higher authorities into the, er, picture.
My little town has solved the problem of police corruption.
We don’t have any crime and don’t have any police.
First thing is Benoit should make copies of the film from his card, because at some point the authorities might want the original which just might get lost.
It might be good to have a copy made by an impartial third party.
... and then post it all over the internet.
"Whatchya gonna do when they come for you?..."
Pretty sure the reporter did that.
I believe with the new 4G phones the data rate is great enough to stream movie content in real time to a land based server. So there wouldn’t even be a need to secrete a micro-SD card.
The fellow may be weighing the legal costs of suing and trying to help out the other wrongful targets, as he’s talking about putting it on pay per view. Me, I’d say screw it and put it on You Tube.
We learned in the OJ case that this is FELONY KIDNAPPING, put the whole bunch of these thugs in PRISON FOR LIFE
Go Henry Bowman on them...starting with whom sent them in the first place.
These days everybody talks about the absolute necessity of insurance.
Insurance is keeping a camera on your person at all times, and the peripheral technology to send it beyond the reach of the JBT (among others).
The card in this case was not much heavier than a lottery ticket, and its payout is going to be comparable.
In Chicago, it would be illegal.
It was legal in Chicago until a couple of years ago. The case went all the way to Illinois supreme court, which ruled that it was legal to photograph police in the course of their public duties.
Illinois, led by the Daley machine, promptly passed a bill making it illegal to photograph police in public.
On the positive side, I believe that there are only two or three states that have such legislation. Illinois, and I think (surprise, surprise) New Jersey are two.
This was posted on youtube....then taken down “by the user”...now it is back up
Illegal to film public servants serving in public? Oh well then, you must not do it! Laws, like police, are always right and must always be obeyed.
WOW, they just executed that guy. His car was stopped. He was surrounded. There was no need to kill the guy. It was an EXECUTION. Do the police have the power to carry out executions without an arrest, trial, and conviction? Apparently they do. Even if this guy was a murderer, which I think he was, we still can’t have the police going around killing people.
The police are out of control.
His car was stopped. He was surrounded.
There was no need to kill the guy.
It was an EXECUTION.
Do the police have the power to carry out executions without an arrest, trial, and conviction? Apparently they do.
Even if this guy was a murderer, which I think he was, we still cant have the police going around killing people.
I do not agree. It was probably a mistake, rather than an execution. Perhaps even an understandable mistake. It often goes down like this:
The information the police have is that they have a dangerous guy who has just murdered someone.
They are yelling at him to show his hands, get out of the car. Maybe they are giving conflicting commands.
He makes a move to a) grab a gun b) undo a seatbelt.
Everyone is on the edge of shooting because this is a very dangerous guy. Someone pulls the trigger because they think he is going for a gun.
Every Police officer there joins in.
It is the coverup that gets you.
An execution would have been if they pulled the guy out of the car, put a gun to the back of his head, and blew his brains out with one shot.
I’m not sure what generation of HTC Evo they were using, but i’m posting on an Evo now. There is no removable memory card.
What with police vigilantism and the PRC dumping US Treasuries, the US may now be officially a Third World state.
Perhaps the UN can direct some foreign aid and NGO monitors to population centers such as Miami so that the citizens can feel secure and the US not become just another failed state.
I soooooo want to read that book.
$226 on ebay, and $90 on Amazon is a little too rich for my blood, though.
“Ballistics tests will be needed to prove that Herisse indeed shot the gun, and could take weeks.”
They didn’t test his hands for gunpowder residue? Was it because there were so many police shooting, that everything was covered with residue?
Well, Im going to be called a racist for this one, but here it goes: What the heck is up with the hip hop crowd trashing South Beach year after year on Memorial Day? Is this how your crew celebrates the hard-won freedoms our nations heroes gave their lives forby annually ransacking South Florida and shooting at cops?
Its gotten so bad down on South Beach while the Urban Beach Weekers are in town that South Floridians, of all races, remind each other not to go south past Surfside until the Urban Beach Week is over because it is one god-awful hell zone.
It seems that way to me, too. And it will be easier to repeal Obamacare than it will to rein them back in. We've been giving them more and more money and power since the seventies.
I’m not saying you are wrong about it being a mistake, but if it was a pre-meditated execution, they would be foolish to pull someone out of the car and shoot him in the back of his head. They would have much more cover if they could plausibly use the scenario you give to explain the fatal shooting, and much less if it’s one shot to the back of the head.
...which is why I posted the link to the video. At first I searched it up thinking that it was still embargoed and would demonstrate the fear of police retaliation that witnesses have since that was the gist of the thread. When I saw that it was back up, I just decided to post the link. A picture is worth a thousand words.
I emailed Mr Ross about 2 weeks ago asking if he was considering putting UC out again, or in e-book form. No reply, but I know he’s a busy guy.
I have a copy somewhere in this house. Best book I’ve ever read.
I lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 80’s when the powers-that-be decided they no longer wanted Spring Break to be there.
It was rumored, and the evidence I witness would support that the police were told to use what ever force necessary to make the Spring Breakers feel unwelcome.
The police would arrest anyone they wanted to especially if it sent a bigger message to the crowd.
I witnessed a friend of mine receive this treatment and when I asked the cop what he was arresting him for he said; D.O.A. , dis-orderly-a**hole, now move along if you dont want the same.
Spring break moved to Daytona for awhile and then Pensacola I think.
Download it here as a PDF.
On Thursday, The Miami Herald spoke to the couple that saw the end of the 4 a.m. police chase on Collins Avenue, then watched and filmed from just a few feet away as a dozen officers fired their guns repeatedly into Raymond Herisses blue Hyundai.
I realized immediately that it is the same incident, but from a different angle than the WPB couple had.
I'm making no allegations as to whether LEOs were right or wrong in their actions seen on the video. Only saying that the individual who took the video had, for some reason, retracted it from youtube for a time. (I can only believe that fear of retaliation was his reason) The article you posted at the start of this thread would show that fear to be well founded.
AWESOME! Thank you!
PalmettoMason, now I can quote the line I was going to post to you accurately:
“”There is a name for a society where only the police have guns. It is called a police state. The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights is not about duck hunting, any more than the First Amendment is about playing Scrabble. The entire Bill of Rights is about individual freedom.” -Henry Bowman.
This is so very true. When we lived there, we always would warn friends and visitors not to go to that area while the hip hop scum was in Miami. People who did go told stories of their vehicles being broken into in previously safe areas, muggings and senseless fighting with hip-hop scum.
I stream mine to QIK
There is an 8 gb storage card in my EVO 4G.
Look underneath your battery.
Shades of Rodney King.
There is a nasty anti-police mood in this country, and I would prefer to see video of what the police saw in the umpteen minutes preceding the shooting. The dead perp shot a store clerk in the face??
When police abuse their authority over totally innocent citizens (without a record,) I would join the "incensed" crowd. With or without accompanying video. Until then, spare me the "poor baby was shot 82 times" BS. From what I have read so far, this POS deserved what he got.
The hardback is up to $900 in the "used" section at Amazon.
Maybe I can afford a new PC after all. My third printing copy is brand new, bought about ten years ago, thumbed through the first few pages and set it aside for a nice quiet week in a cabin in the Siskiyou Wilderness and really enjoy it. The novel is 863 pages.
I am a reader, not a collector, and the best recent technical development is the ebook. When they became searchable and able to be highlighted (temporarily)electronically, AND with the ability to cut and paste, albeit with some effort, I was in reader heaven.
Many of my favorite books are used for reference. I lost track of the hours and days I have spent transcribing useful historical, political and sociological passages from them.
Having the ability to download electronic copies of them is mindboggling to me.
Darn, mine is third edition also, but in great shape.
Copy the card, and put it on the internet.
If they turn it in it will be “lost”.