Ayinde Crespo says that in 2012, he had a hell of a time convincing anyone that a Miami cop named Marcel Jackson had attacked him outside a strip club. The way Crespo tells it, Jackson tackled him from behind, slammed his face into the ground, and beat him. Even after the independent Civilian Investigative Panel (CIP) sustained charges of "abusive treatment" against the officer, Crespo told NBC 6 it was tough to get people to believe his side of the story.
That is, until Jackson filmed himself attacking a member of his own police force two years later. That video went viral online and led to Jackson's suspension.
And now Crespo is suing the City of Miami, the Miami Police Department, and Jackson for battery, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“I had a feeling one day the truth would come to light, and I’m glad that he’s showing people his real self,” Crespo told NBC 6 in 2014. “I’m sure there’s a whole lot more in the camera he’s trying to hide.”
A Miami PD spokesperson declined to comment for this story because of the ongoing litigation.
Crespo's run-in with Jackson happened July 29, 2012, when Crespo and a friend took a cab to the Goldrush strip club on NE 11th Street. Around 6:30 a.m., Crespo says, he and his acquaintance began to argue about who would pay the cab fare. When Crespo started to walk away in frustration, the cab driver allegedly called over Jackson, a large cop with the physique of a powerlifter.
According to the suit, Jackson responded by tackling Crespo, "causing Crespo's face to strike the pavement." The suit says the cop then jammed his knee into Crespo's back and then began punching him. Crespo also maintains that Jackson screamed at him using the N-word and said, "You don't want to pay for this cab, motherfucker?"
Jackson then slapped cuffs on Crespo and clasped them tightly enough to leave marks on his wrists, according to photos the victim gave NBC 6. Crespo also told the news station the retina in his eye was torn, causing him to see "flashing lights."
"As a director result of the abusive treatment and use of excessive force from defendant Jackson, Crespo sustained injuries to his back, body, wrist, and face, including a permanent disfigurement to his lip," the suit says.
Crespo's allegations were later backed up by the independent CIP, which investigates citizen complaints against the police. The CIP not only sustained Crespo's abuse charges but also revealed that Jackson had been on the board's "monitoring list" for officers with numerous complaints before he allegedly attacked Crespo. In all, 19 other people had filed complaints against Jackson prior to Crespo's case.
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Though Miami Police didn't discipline Jackson for the alleged beatdown, he was unable to keep himself out of trouble for long.
Jackson had apparently kept his own GoPro camera on his police cruiser's dashboard to record arrests — but that habit came back to bite him after he recorded himself pulling over a City of Miami internal affairs officer, yanking the high-ranking cop out of his car, and tossing him to the ground before the IA cop — Lt. David Ramras — stood up and screamed, "Do you know who the fuck I am?" The video later went viral on social media.
For attacking one of his superiors, Jackson was suspended — with pay.