Florida prosecutors won’t seek charges against a dozen police officers who unleashed a hail of bullets that killed a fleeing black man and injured four bystanders on a crowded South Beach street during Memorial Day Weekend celebrations in 2011.
“All of the officers were justified in the discharge of their firearms,” said a nearly 90-page report released by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office late Tuesday.
The decision hinged on Florida’s “fleeing felon” law, which gives law enforcement the ability to use force to defend themselves or others while making an arrest.
The release of the report comes as police around the country are under intense scrutiny for fatal shooting incidents, notably the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.
The incident, which drew national attention, began when officers stopped 22-year-old Raymond Herisse at about 4 a.m. after seeing him spinning his car’s tires in traffic. When they approached the car they say Herisse reached over the passenger side seat, the report said. Police lunged for Herisse’s arm prompting him to swerve away, hitting an officer in the process.
Later Herisse crashed into a handful of bystanders’ cars and nearly hit several more officers on bicycles before coming to a stop. As police surrounded the car he attempted to drive off again.
Police fired 130 rounds at Herisse’s car, according to the report, hitting him 16 times. After the shooting police say they found a Beretta handgun under the rear passenger seat, but evidence showed Herisse did not fire the weapon.
The incident was caught on video from nearby buildings and posted on YouTube.
It spawned a slew of lawsuits from furious family members, as well as a number of changes in how police handle Miami Beach’s predominantly black Memorial Day celebrations.
The Miami Beach police department also faces scrutiny following the tasing death of 18-year-old Israel Hernandez-Llach in the summer of 2013. An investigation into that incident is still pending.
“The family is disappointed in the outcome, but they are very happy that questions they’ve had for four years have been answered,” Herisse’s family’s attorney Marwan Porter told the Miami Herald. “Raymond did not shoot a gun at any officer.”
Last year Miami Beach police issued a policy change saying officers may no longer shoot at moving cars.
(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Editing by David Adams and Lisa Lambert)
Trump tried to play chicken with the Manhattan DA — and failed spectacularly: ex-federal prosecutor
Former federal prosecutor turned CNN legal analyst Shanlon Wu explained that President Donald Trump shot himself in the foot demanding details about the investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
Wu tweeted the recent report announcing Vance is investigating Trump and the Trump Organization for possible fraud. Trump presumably assumed that the investigation was merely a fishing expedition, demanding that Vance further justify his reasons for the subpoena they issued. That's exactly what they did, effectively disclosing that a grand jury was impaneled to look into Trump bank or tax fraud.
With each passing day Trump’s spin is less capable of distracting Americans from reality: op-ed
Writing in the Washington Post this Monday, Paul Waldman says that if you want to know the sorry state President Trump's campaign is in, just look at its deteriorating spin machine.
The first example cited by Waldman was Trump's recent attack on his usually supportive top infectious disease expert, Dr. Deborah Birx, for daring to say that the virus' spread isn't going away any time soon. Waldman also listed the numerous statements from Trump that downplay the threat of the virus while pushing the misleading claim that things are just fine.
Trump openly solicits payment to US treasury for his ‘approval’ of TikTok sale – which he is forcing
President Donald Trump says he is allowing Microsoft to purchase the U.S. assets of the popular Beijing-based TikTok social media video sharing app, in a sale Trump personally is forcing.
In discussing what he sees as the broad portions of an agreement the President used a real estate term to openly solicit the payment that would have to be made to the U.S. Treasury.
"I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the U.S. Treasury of the United States, because we're making it possible for this deal to happen," Trump told reporters Monday afternoon.