Last week, we told the story of Earl Sampson, a convenience store worker based in Miami Gardens. Sampson has been arrested at least 62 times by Miami Gardens police for simply “trespassing” at his place of employment. The situation got so bad that Sampson’s employer who owns the store, installed surveillance cameras to capture the injustice.
Now, the City of Miami Gardens and its police department has been slapped with a lawsuit for the behavior.
The 11 plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are led by Ali Amin Saleh, a Latin American man of Middle Eastern descent who is identified as having been the owner since 1999 of a convenience store in Miami Gardens that was subjected to frequent police searches.
“Over the course of approximately five years, spanning from 2008 to 2013, Mr. Saleh’s Quick Stop was unlawfully searched without reasonable suspicion or arguable probable cause, numerous times by MGPD (Miami Gardens Police Department) officers,” the complaint says.
“In addition, MGPD officers have engaged in a policy, practice and/or custom of stopping-and-frisking, searching, seizing, and arresting patrons of his Quick Stop while they are on the premises for loitering or trespassing,” it added.
Miami Gardens is 80 percent black. The complaint said the arrests and searches at the store were executed despite protest from Saleh who told police the people in question had his full permission to be there.
The complaint also alleges that the tactics executed by Miami Gardens police have led to benefits and promotions to officers who met strict monthly quotas for the number of citations and arrest issued.
Will the lawsuit make a difference in how law enforcement tactics are executed?
Or will this just simply be another payoff to counter bad press for the city and department?
Sound off below!