"I look at these Fourth Amendment violations as a way of trampling these people's First Amendment rights," says Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, president of Miami's ACLU. "These illegal stops and seizures are all designed to silence the protesters' message."
While we wait to see how many of these arrests are thrown out of court, we should also think about how many flagrantly bad arrests we're willing to tolerate in our community: One? Ten? Twenty?
Downtown Miami, Thursday, November 20: This is what a police state looks like
Isidor Shniadoski was contemplating just that Friday morning as he watched Miami bicycle cops stop and frisk a young man wearing a green "legal observer" cap. During the protests, Shniadoski had kept open his business, Cut Rate Trimming and Fabrics on North Miami Avenue and NE Second Street. "They've been doing that all week," he said while motioning to the young man who'd just been searched. "I'm glad police are here to protect the businesses, but as a citizen it concerns me they've gone to this extreme. They are literally stopping people just walking down the street. I mean, at what point do we give up our civil liberties?"