Two police officers in Miami Beach have been accused of harassing and beating a gay man who attempted to report police abuse. The man, Harold Strickland, witnessed two police officers beating and kicking a man in Miami Beach, holding him on the ground and kicking him in the head "as if he was kicking a football."
When the two officers spotted Strickland, who allegedly was on a 911 call reporting the police abuse, the officers ran after him, called him a "F---ing F--got," before pushing him to the ground, tying him up, and arresting him on a bogus loitering charge.Oh, but not before telling Strickland, "We're sick of the F---ing F-gs" in the area, telling him he looked like a queer, and threatening to "disappear" him.
Now Strickland, with the help of the ACLU, is suing the Miami Beach Police Department for the way these two officers behaved. According to the ACLU, the six-minute 911 phone call unquestionably affirms that Strickland is telling the truth in his reporting of the incident.
It's time to tell the Miami Beach Police Department to stop arresting gay men simply because of anti-gay bias among officers. The Miami Beach Police Department is there to serve and protect the community, not allow homophobic officers to make up bogus charges, harass the city's LGBT population, and arrest and abuse people who report police misconduct. Demand that the Miami Beach Police Department discipline the two officers involved in this case, as well as immediately pledge to stop targeting innocent LGBT people for arrest.
As a 911 tape reveals, two officers chased down an innocent gay man, pushed him to the ground, tied him up, and arrested him with a bogus loitering charge -- a charge that the MBPD eventually even dropped. But in addition to pushing him and tying him up, the man in question was called anti-gay and derogatory names by two of your officers, including a "F---cking F--got" and "Queer," and told that he could be "disappeared" if he didn't shut up.
Worse, as the ACLU reports, this is just the latest incident in a row of incidents where the Miami Beach Police Department have gone after innocent LGBT people, and have gone after people who report police abuse -- which is what the man here in question was doing the night that two officers attacked him.
Simply put, this is bad police behavior, and there are no excuses for it. I demand that the MBPD stop harassing, intimidating and arresting people who observe police misconduct, and I call on the MBPD to discipline the two officers involved in this case, and take some serious inter-department steps to ensure that the MBPD isn't engaging in anti-gay police work.