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Memorial Day Police Shooting Victims Are Suing Miami Beach

At least five innocent bystanders were shot by police in this melee.
At least five innocent bystanders were shot by police in this melee.

Remember last Memorial Day weekend on South Beach? Yes, that was the one when Miami Beach cops unloaded more than a hundred rounds into the car of Raymond Herisse, a Palm Beach resident police say tried to run them over on Collins Avenue. Not all those bullets hit Herisse, though. 


At least five innocent bystanders were hit in the melee. A year later, they've still gotten no answers from Miami Beach about what happened or who's to blame. So just before this weekend's parties get started, the group has filed a pair of lawsuits against the city.  

The shootout happened near 4 a.m. last May 30, after police say Herisse tried to hit them with his car. Cops opened fire near 14th St. and Collins Ave., in a barrage captured on camera that soon played on repeat on CNN and other networks.

Records show police unleashed more than 115 rounds. Two of those bullets hit Sarah Garcia, a 25-year-old from Naples, who was hit in the leg and the arm. Garcia ended up in a wheelchair for months and still hasn't gone back to her job at a Naples hospital; she's now filed a negligence suit against the city.

"She went from being someone who helped people for a living to being someone who needed that help and felt helpless,'' Bradley Winston, her attorney, tells the Miami Herald this morning.

Four others hit in the chaos -- Carlson St. Louis, 25, who was shot in the hip; Cedric Perkins, a Tallahassee man hit in the chest; and two others not named by the Herald -- have filed a separate open records lawsuit against the city.

That's because almost a year after the shooting, police still haven't released any records about who fired the shots that hit the bystanders. MBPD has given evidence to the State Attorney's Office, who continues to investigate. 

The shooting victims' attorneys say the city should work faster to help those hit by the crossfire.  

"Shooting hundreds of bullets is a reckless disregard for human life," Jasmine Rand, an attorney representing Perkins, tells the Herald.

The original, best video of the shooting has since been pulled from YouTube, but here's a good compilation of what it showed:



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