Just over a year ago, Ryan Gellineau sued the Miami Police Department after he says he recorded an MPD officer walking up to him and punching him in the face after he asked the officer, Stanley Mike, for his badge number. Worse, Gellineau says his video evidence of the punch directly contradicts what MPD officers later wrote in sworn arrest affidavits. Mike wrote that Gellineau charged at MPD cops, but the lawsuit accuses Mike of committing perjury by making up an account in a sworn police document.
Rather than let the debate play out in court, the city says it now plans to hand Gellineau a $50,000 settlement — without admitting wrongdoing, of course. The city is slated to approve the settlement at its upcoming commission meeting on July 12.
"The facts as stated, written, and sworn to in Stanley Mike’s Complaint/Arrest Affidavit are fabricated and materially false," Gellineau's June 1, 2017,
News of the settlement comes days after New Times reported on a similar issue with Miami-Dade County Police. New Times obtained body-camera footage from a 2017 arrest that shows MDPD officers punching a man named Ephraim Casado after he exited his own car with his hands in the air. MDPD cops wrote that Casado was "concealing his hands." Documents showed that the State Attorney's Office and MDPD Internal Affairs each weighed whether to charge or discipline the cops for lying or perjury, but both entities ultimately declined. (MDPD Director Juan Perez has called perjury claims against his cops in this case "not accurate.") Casado is now suing MDPD.
Similarly, Gellineau said in his lawsuit that State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office dropped charges of resisting an officer with violence after reviewing his video footage, but that Rundle's office also never charged Mike for potentially lying on an arrest affidavit, either.
In Gellineau's case, he says he was standing on a public sidewalk on June 2, 2013, when Mike and other MPD officers handcuffed and began arresting Gellineau's girlfriend. A police report Mike wrote states that Gellineau "charged" at the officers and screamed, "You will not be arresting my girlfriend!" and "Fuck you, you guys are not going to get away with this."
But Gellineau instead said he recorded the entire exchange on his phone, and the video, at least, doesn't show that charge occurring at all. Instead, Gellineau wrote in his suit, he shouted at his girlfriend from afar while the cops put cuffs on her.
"Hey, Gina, what are you getting locked up for?” the suit says Gellineau called from the other side of the street.
Then, the suit says, Mike shouted, "Hey!" and walked toward Gellineau.
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"No, no, no, what’s your badge number, sir?” Gellineau allegedly asked.
In response, Gellineau says he recorded Mike punch him and knock him to the ground. Once Gellineau hit the concrete, he says the officers continued to punch and kick him.
"Stanley Mike’s restraint, arrest, and detention, and arrest of Ryan Gellineau
The settlement, which the commission still has to approve, is yet another piece of bad PR for MPD this year. Officer Mario Figueroa was arrested in May after being filmed taking a running kick at a handcuffed man's head. He now faces battery charges. In addition, MPD dragged City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez out to publicly commend the department for arresting two suspects in a fatal Liberty City shootout — but Suarez was forced to eat his words only hours later after MPD announced they'd gotten the wrong guys. In May, the Civilian Investigative Panel, a citizen-led body that investigates complaints against police, warned MPD for the third time in three years that its officers do not appear to be properly recording body-camera footage.