Questions surrounding police conduct in two Memorial Day shootings are growing by the day, most recently fueled by a report in the Miami Herald that Miami Beach police captured a couple at gunpoint and smashed the man's cell phone after he was spotted using it to film police killing 22-year-old Raymond Herisse, who reportedly tried to run down police with his car.
The only reason the video wasn't taken from him, the man said, was that he was hiding his phone's SIM card in his mouth during questioning.
The man, 35-year-old Narces Benoit, said police "put guns to our heads and threw us to the ground," told him "you want to be [expletive] paparazzi?" then smashed the phone. The couple was then handcuffed and put with other bound witnesses. The man said he was uncuffed when a second police shooting broke out several blocks away, which gave him the chance to hide the phone's memory card. The suspect in the second shooting was arrested without injury.
Benoit showed the video to a Herald reporter, but said he was considering selling it to a website instead of releasing it. The video is reportedly from close enough range "to see some officers' faces and individual muzzle flashes" from the 100-plus shots fired at Herisse, who police say "almost struck" five officers with his car.
A gun was found in Herisse's car three days after the shooting; police said it took that long to find because they needed legal approval to search the car; they had not said anything about being unable to search until after the gun was found.
Some residents have demanded an end to Urban Beach Weekend, though Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower said Tuesday there is little the city can do to stop it. A protest at Miami Beach City Hall is planned for Friday at 6 p.m.
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