Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd resigned Wednesday after allegations that officers in his department systematically harassed, intimidated and racial profiled citizens.
Boyd has denied the allegations which were brought to light two weeks ago after surveillance video footage captured by a convenience store clerk showed police unjustly stopping innocent black men. The Quickstop owner decided to record the incidents after becoming frustrated with his employees being targets of racial profiling.
Earl Sampson, 28, a customer who also worked at the store, was stopped by police 419 times over the past five years, city records show. Of those stops, he was cited more than 160 times with trespassing-related offenses. In at least two instances, officers came into the store and hauled him away — for trespassing — while he was in the midst of working.
Records show that many of the store’s regular patrons were questioned hundreds of times and aggressively searched for being “suspicious” while shopping at the establishment. Boyd has stood behind the actions of the department, justifying them with the city’s high crime problems.
The Florida chapter of the NAACP and its Miami-Dade branch has called for a federal probe into the city’s “zero tolerance” policy. City Manager Cameron Benson, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently investigating the situation.
Thoughts on Boyd’s sudden resignation?
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