If the Miami police weren't trying to cover up the apparent execution of a black male trying to flee a traffic stop why did they arrest and smash the cell phone of the witness who recorded it after stopping him at gunpoint?
It was 4am on May 30 when Benoit and his girlfriend Erika Davis saw officers firing dozens of bullets into a car driven by Raymond Herisse, a suspect who hit a police officer and other vehicles while driving recklessly. Herisse died in the hail of lead, and four bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.
Police noticed the man filming the shooting and an officer jumped into his truck, and put a pistol to his head, Benoit said. The video shows officers crowding around Herisse's vehicle before opening fire, followed by indistinguishable yelling at onlookers, including Benoit, to stop filming.
The cop yelled: "Wanna be a [expletive] paparazzi?" Benoit recounted in a TV interview.
"My phone was smashed, he stepped on it, handcuffed me," the 35-year-old car stereo technician told CNN. Despite his phone being destroyed, Benoit was able to save the footage by taking the memory card out of the device and putting it in his mouth before handing it over to police, he said, adding that officers smashed several other cameras in the chaos which followed the shooting.
After clearly trying to destroy the evidence the Miami police issued a subpoena that stated (with chutzpah),
YOU ARE SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED NOT TO DISCLOSE THE EXISTENCE OF THIS REQUEST. ANY SUCH DISCLOSURE COULD IMPEDE THE INVESTIGATION BEING CONDUCTED AND THEREBY INTERFERE WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW.
Fortunately, Benoit contacted an attorney before he did anything. Clearly he had no reason to trust the police to protect the evidence.
Here's another video of the incident from another perspective. The opinion of the videographer that the victim shot at people is not supported by evidence. No weapon was found immediately after the shooting. Several days later a gun was reported found in a remote part of the car. Clearly the victim did not use it to start the final shoot out or it would have been found immediately close to his body. The most likely reason, in my opinion, that he tried to escape police is that he was driving while intoxicated. He had a criminal record involving drugs, but was not convicted of violence.
No matter what the victim had done, the police endangered hundreds of people in the vicinity by spraying over 100 bullets across the street into the crowds. Four people were injured by stray bullets. The police were lucky not to kill innocent bystanders.
Florida law allows filming the police on the streets. Because the police smashed the witnesses phone, they cannot claim that they were trying to preserve evidence of a crime. They were obviously trying to destroy it.
When the police shoot over 100 bullets then destroy evidence, who will stop them from doing it again? And again? Can they reasonably be expected to investigate themselves? Will Eric Holder investigate this case?
I doubt it.
Has America become a police state?