On October 19, a near-riot erupted at the student center at Miami Gardens' Florida Memorial University. As captured in amateur video filmed by junior Jeffrey Y. Martin, security guards barricaded another student, 19-year old Emory Mitchell, in a bathroom. After students slammed through the door, an Allied Barton security guard pulled his handgun and waved it at the crowd.
Mitchell was charged with felony battery for his role in the altercation and spent more than a week in jail. In the incident's aftermath, FMU administrators seemed to side with the security guards, suspending Mitchell and issuing a statement including:
The security officers involved in the incident attempted to restrain the male student, who responded by assaulting the security officers.
That statement could become borderline libelous in about 24 hours. Mitchell's due in court on Wednesday morning. He sent Riptide the following text yesterday afternoon:
YES!!! I just got a call from my attorneys saying my charges were dismissed and I can now proceed with filing charges of my own!
His attorney Joseph Vredevelt, after first prefacing that there "should be some major developments in the case on Wednesday," gave us a non-denial denial when asked about the dismissal, telling Riptide that "the State Attorney's Office gets angry when you say stuff like that... so this is going to have to be an official no comment."
A prosecutor's secretary told Riptide that "you're going to have to wait until Wednesday."
We can think of three people that should be made nervous by these developments. As confirmed by Vredevelt, three of the Allied Barton guards involved are named Harry Monestime, Joseph Kensler, and Ronnie Findley. FMU Vice President for Administration Dr. Harold R. Clarke has confirmed to us that Findley was the guard filmed pulling his handgun and subsequently removed from his post at the university.
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E-mailed for comment on the reportedly dropped charges, FMU officials did not respond yesterday afternoon.
"This is the first step towards me getting what I want to accomplish," an elated Mitchell told Riptide. "I want them to correct the statement they made about me attacking the guards, and I want to be allowed to continue my education."
It's hard to imagine how differently this situation might have unfolded had a student not happened to catch it on film.