FL Police Frisk ‘Suspicious’ 11-Year-Old Wearing Baggy Pants And Hoodie
Reported by April Taylor
A recent investigation by the Miami Herald has unearthed a Miami Gardens, FL police program that appears to be far worse than the notorious New York City stop and frisk policy. A Fusion investigation discovered that numbers equivalent to half of the city’s population have been stopped under the program between 2008 and 2013. Thousands have been arrested with more than 56,000 people stopped.
In an illustration of just how absurd the program is, police stopped an 11-year old African-American boy, who was on his way to football practice, citing that they had just cause to stop him as a “suspicious person” because he was “wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie, and black gloves.”
The Fusion study discovered that community members as young as five and as old as 99 were labeled “suspicious” and were stopped and questioned. The study also found that many of those who were stopped were actually stopped by multiple officers within minutes of being stopped by other officers.
An officer with the Miami Gardens Police Department reported that he was advised to stop all black men who appeared to be between the ages of 15 and 30 years old. Another officer reported that some records had been falsified in an effort to meet quotas that had been set by administrators and that some of those who had been stopped were actually still being held in custody at local jails.
Alex Saleh is a resident of Miami Gardens and owns a store in the city. It was his reporting of the police activity that led to the investigation. Saleh installed 15 cameras in his store after employees and customers were stopped hundreds of times by local police. Saleh’s employees had even been charged multiple times for trespassing for being on workplace property. Saleh is planning to use the footage to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.