Wednesday, April 05, 2006
VISIT CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA (AT YOUR OWN RISK)
Can't find much more about this anywhere at the moment, but I'll keep looking.
The following is from CBS4 News in Miami, Florida
Police Brutality Claimed In Gables Melee
(CBS4 News) CORAL GABLES The parents of a Coral Gables High student have hired an attorney, and are considering legal action, amid allegations that Coral Gables police officers used excessive force trying to arrest a student, and then, arresting students who came to his aid. One student’s cell-phone camera caught what appears to be a beating by police officers as angry students tried to intervene.
Coral Gables Police were trying to arrest Curtis Miller, a student who had allegedly been involved in a fight a few weeks ago, when some students at the school objected to the way police were handling the arrest.
As one student grabbed his cell-phone camera, other students boiled across the street to surround the police officers. Coral Gables Police spokesman Mike Frevola said “Several other students who didn’t want us to arrest him jumped four of our officers, attacking them, and bloodying several noses.”
Gables police arrested 4 students who intervened, and called for backup from other police departments, creating a scene which when captured on the cell-phone camera looked like a free for all.
The cell-phone cameraman admitted students moved in around police officers, but he claims they did it to stop what they felt was unrestrained brutality. “All the kids were walking up, pulling them off, trying to get the cops off. And the cop starts punching him in the face, and hitting them with a night stick.”
A parent who spoke with CBS4 Reporter Gary Nelson, who did not want her name used saying she feared reprisals, said she didn’t blame the students for taking action. “That’s why you hear the children in the background screaming,” she told Nelson. “And a lot of them were crying, because they kept begging the police to stop, and they wouldn’t stop, and they were hitting the kid on the floor.”
A student witness who gave his name as Kevin said “He was already under arrest, hands behind his back with handcuffs, four different knees on his back from four different cops, and still tasering him. They didn’t have to do that.”
Coral Gables police say they used the force necessary to subdue people resisting arrest. The Miami-Dade Schools Police officers who responded to help Coral Gables suffered a broken finger arresting one teenager. Their supervisors say the whole incident is now under investigation.
“We find out the facts, what occurred,” said Miami-Dade Schools Police Detective Ed Torrens, “..if they acted appropriately.”
Despite the fracas, only Miller, the student police were trying to arrest, was held in jail because of his past record. Tuesday, a judge refused to allow him to be released, causing him to break down in tears.
The other students who arrested were released into the custody of their parents.