Ethan A. Huff
June 9, 2011
When Narces Benoit decided to use his cell phone to film Miami Beach police officers gunning down a man sitting in a parked car early Monday morning, he had no idea the same cops would eventually target him as well. According to video evidence and witness testimony, officers pointed a gun at Narces and his girlfriend, threw them to the ground, destroyed his camera and what they thought was the footage he captured, and handcuffed and arrested the couple, all because Narces happened to capture indicting video evidence of the officers’ heinous actions.
The Miami Herald reports that Narces and his girlfriend were driving on Collins Avenue in South Beach, Fla., when they happened upon the shocking tail-end of a police chase involving Raymond Herisse, the suspect in question who had allegedly fled police following a scuffle. When Herisse’s car later came to a stop, officers surrounded the vehicle and unloaded more than 100 rounds at the car, effectively murdering Herisse and injuring four innocent bystanders.
The Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) has tried to justify their shooting spree by claiming that Herisse attempted to run over officers with his car, but Narces’ video footage, which was salvaged when he discreetly removed his cell phone’s memory card and put it in his mouth before officers destroyed it, shows otherwise. In the video, it is clearly evident that Narces’ vehicle had been stopped both prior to and during the time when the gang of officers murdered him in cold blood.
You can view the video footage for yourself here:
Perhaps even more disturbing than the actual shooting, though, is the way the police aggressively threatened and intimidated those who witnessed the situation, including Narces and his girlfriend. After allegedly putting guns to their heads and throwing them to the ground, Narces says one officer grabbed his cell phone and said “You want to be [expletive] Paparazzi?” upon which he proceeded to smash the phone and stick it back into Narces’ pocket.
Initially, other officers on the scene denied any awareness that this type of activity had taken place, but the department later admitted that officers had, indeed, confiscated Narces’ and several other witnesses’ phones. Filming such incidents, of course, is perfectly legal, and the officers involved had no right to threaten, confiscate, destroy, or otherwise interfere with the activity of bystanders, but they decided to do it anyway.
Following the incident, the MBPD has come out denying that its officers had held Narces at gunpoint, or that they tried to destroy his phone. The department alleges that Narces had appeared to be fleeing the shooting scene, which prompted them to come after him. This claim, however, does not make any logical sense in light of the situation, and the video footage Narces captured shows that officers pursued him only after they realized that he had been filming the incident, upon which he fled for refuge in his vehicle.
The entire event reeks of abuse and coverup. No matter how the MBPD tries to slice and dice it before the public, there really is no justification for firing hundreds of bullets at an unmoving vehicle in the first place, especially one with a man that appears not to even have been armed. Ironically, an MBPD announcement made days after the incident that a gun had been found “somewhere” in Herisse’s vehicle upon processing — which was an attempt at justifying the officers’ actions — does not vindicate them at all. What it actually shows is that Herisse could not have been firing that weapon when police gunned him down, otherwise it would have been right there with his body and not hidden somewhere else in the car.
Further, there is absolutely no justification for officers pointing guns at and arresting innocent bystanders who were merely exercising their rightful freedom to film public events — and no amount of denial or excuse-making on behalf of the MBPD can change this fact. Narces’ video, which is the smoking gun in this case, exposes the grim reality of this encroaching American police state, and how it is quickly devolving into a deadly display of brute force all across the country. Officers of the state apparently now have no qualms about openly gunning people down, threatening to gun down witnesses, and later trying to cover up or justify their abusive actions.
Sources for this story include:
This article was posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 4:37 am