Store Owner Catches Cops Out of Control, Films a Year’s Worth of Abuse and Brutality

“Law enforcement officers now are part of the revenue gathering system.  The ranks of cops are in competition with one another and intra-departmentally. It becomes a game. Policing isn’t about keeping streets safe, it’s about statistical success. The question for them is, ‘Who can put the most people in jail?’

Friends, those are the words of former Miami police officer, FBI field agent, and SWAT sniper Dale Carson. Straight from the horse’s mouth.  Carson wrote the book Arrest-Proof Yourself: An Ex-Cop Reveals What to do if Police Get in Your Face.

It’s easily one of the most chilling things you’ll ever read. It’s 288 pages going into detail on how easy it is for cops to randomly arrest you and haul you away.  It’s also a concrete, practical, no-bullshit guide on exactly what to do to evade arrest. Carson knows how dirty the system is because he enforced it — he’s also an expert on how to beat it.

What you’re going to read below is an example of the “competition” that he talks about. This innocent man has been searched more than 100 times and arrested and jailed 56 times.

Why? He was an easy way for police to meet their quota and fill a cage for the night. Cops claimed he was “trespassing” in their reports. The truth is, he was an employee at the store. In the United Police States of America, “Who can put the most people in jail” is the name of the game.

The store owner installed surveillance cameras and started filming cops. He compiled a year’s worth of footage of the abuse.

These random arrests are happening all over the nation, jointly due to the profit-driven Prison Industrial Complex and the War on Drugs.

It’s why 16-yr-old Kalief Browder was snatched up and thrown in one of the most violent prisons for 3+ years for doing absolutely nothing — with no conviction at all.

It’s why the number of American prisoners now exceeds that of high school teachers and engineers.

It’s why there are at least 7.3 million Americans locked in prison, jail, or monitored under federal control as you read this.

It’s why the US has more prisoners than any other country on Earth, including Russia and China.

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MIAMI, FL — Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years.

He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.

Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.

sampson23n-2-webMiami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.

Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on 207th Street in Miami Gardens.

But Sampson isn’t loitering. He works as a clerk at the Quickstop.

So how can he be trespassing when he works there?

It’s a question the store’s owner, Alex Saleh, 36, has been asking for more than a year as he watched Sampson, his other employees and his customers, day after day, being stopped and frisked by Miami Gardens police. Most of them, like Sampson, are poor and black.

And, like Sampson, many of them have been cited for minor infractions, sometimes as often as three times in the same day.

Saleh was so troubled by what he saw that he decided to install video cameras in his store. Not to protect himself from criminals, because he says he has never been robbed. He installed the cameras — 15 of them — he said, to protect him and his customers from police.

Since he installed the cameras in June 2012 he has collected more than two dozen videos, some of which have been obtained by the Miami Herald. Those tapes, and Sampson’s 38-page criminal history — including charges never even pursued by prosecutors — raise some troubling questions about the conduct of the city’s police officers.

The videos show, among other things, cops stopping citizens, questioning them, aggressively searching them and arresting them for trespassing when they have permission to be on the premises; officers conducting searches of Saleh’s business without search warrants or permission; using what appears to be excessive force on subjects who are clearly not resisting arrest and filing inaccurate police reports in connection with the arrests.

“There is just no justifying this kind of behavior,’’ said Chuck Drago, a former police officer and consultant on police policy and the use of force. “Nobody can justify overstepping the constitution to fight crime.”

Repeated phone messages and emails to Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd and City Manager Cameron Benson asking for comment on this story were not returned.

Boyd did release a statement, saying that the department is committed to serving and protecting the citizens and businesses in the city.




But Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Florida, said that’s exactly what Boyd is NOT doing.

“Where is the police chief in all this? In a police department in a city this size, this kind of behavior could not escape his attention. Doesn’t the City Commission know that they are exposing the city to either massive liability for civil rights violations? Either that, or they are going to wake up one day and find the U.S. Department of Justice has taken over its police department.’’

Saleh and his attorney, Steve Lopez, are preparing to file a federal civil rights lawsuit, contending that the police department has routinely, under the direction of the city’s top leaders, directed its officers to conduct racial profiling, illegal stops and searches and other activities to cover up illegal misconduct.

–> Continue to full story.

Julie Brown | Miami Herald

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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