June 3, 2011
Miami Beach police did their best to destroy a citizen video that shows them shooting a man to death in a hail of bullets Memorial Day.
First, police pointed their guns at the man who shot the video, according to a Miami Herald interview with the videographer.
Then they ordered the man and his girlfriend out the car and threw them down to the ground, yelling “you want to be fucking paparazzi?”
Then they snatched the cell phone from his hand and slammed it to the ground before stomping on it. Then they placed the smashed phone in the videographer’s back pocket as he was laying down on the ground.
And finally, they took him to a mobile command center where they snapped his photo and demanded the phone again, then took him to police headquarters where they conducted a recorded interview with him before releasing him.
But what they didn’t know was that Narces Benoit had removed the SIM card and hid it in his mouth, which means the video survived.
Benoit showed the video to Miami Herald reporters on Thursday, who described it in their article.
The three-minute video captured on Narces Benoit’s HTC EVO phone begins as officers crowd around the east side of Herisse’s car with guns drawn. Roughly 15 seconds into the video, officers open fire.
Benoit filmed the incident from the sidewalk on the northeast corner of 13th Street and Collins Avenue, close enough to see some officers’ faces and individual muzzle flashes.
Shortly after the gunfire ends, an officer points at Benoit and police can be heard yelling for him to turn off the camera. The voices are muffled at times. The 35-year-old car stereo technician drops his hand with the camera and hurries back to his Ford Expedition parked further east on 13th Street.
The video shows Benoit get into the car, where his girlfriend, Ericka Davis, sat in the driver’s seat. He raises his camera and an officer is seen appearing on the driver’s side with his gun drawn, pointed at them.
The video ends as more officers are heard yelling expletives, telling the couple to turn the video off and get out of the car.
“They put guns to our heads and threw us on the ground,” Davis said.
Benoit has not posted it on Youtube because he is asking to be compensated. But it sounds as if he won’t have much trouble getting compensated through a settlement with the police department.
However, he first must post the video for the world to see.
Benoit and his girlfriend also said police smashed several phones from other witnesses, so hopefully they were able to recover the videos as well.
The new details emerged a day after police announced they had found a gun in the car they had shot up.
It took police two-and-a-half days to find the gun in the Hyundai but they still haven’t determined if it was discharged that night.
For all we know, it could have been locked away in the trunk of the car.
Four innocent bystanders were shot during that shooting, most likely from police bullets.
Also, an hour after that shooting, another officer shot at a man who she believed was driving towards her. But he turned out to be allegedly drunk, which is why he was driving erratically and eventually into a police cruiser.