North Miami Beach Officers Won't Face Charges for 2020 Shooting

Four cops have been cleared of wrongdoing.
Four cops have been cleared of wrongdoing. Photo by City of North Miami Beach
click to enlarge Four cops have been cleared of wrongdoing. - PHOTO BY CITY OF NORTH MIAMI BEACH
Four cops have been cleared of wrongdoing.
On the afternoon of April 6, 2020, a teller working at a North Miami Beach bank called police about a man potentially trying to fraudulently cash checks in the drive-thru lane.

The man, Yamill Acevedo, sped off when police officers arrived at the TD Bank at 1190 NE 163rd St. He didn't make it far. At the intersection of NE 163rd Street and 12th Avenue, where police attempted to stop, Acevedo reportedly put the car in reverse, backed into an officer's cruiser, and struck other cars in an attempt to get away.

Four officers at the scene opened fire, shooting and killing Acevedo.

A 15-page close-out memo signed by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle last month says the officers have been cleared of wrongdoing.

Acevedo "clearly posed an imminent danger to both the law enforcement officers and the other people who were in this busy urban intersection," the memo states. "Thus, there is no basis to file any criminal charges against any of these officers."

The four officers — Kevin Sharrod, Kaio Farini, Aaron Winchester, and Rafael Florencio — declined to speak with investigators at the State Attorney's Office.

But according to a bank teller who did agree to be interviewed, Acevedo pulled into the middle drive-thru lane, tried to cash two checks, and provided his driver's license. The teller became suspicious when Acevedo looked away and lowered his body into the car; he looked nothing like the person in the driver's license photo. The teller told the bank manager what was going on, and the manager told the teller to call 911.

Shortly after, when North Miami Beach police officers arrived, the teller saw Acevedo speed out of the drive-thru lane and exit the bank parking lot. The bank manager told police he saw Acevedo, who was driving a Chevy Blazer, back up into one of the police cruisers while attempting to flee.

"[The bank manager] saw the Blazer then try to make a U-turn and then crash into a Toyota 4-Runner before backing up again in the direction of a marked police vehicle," the memo states.

Shortly after Acevedo made the U-turn, witnesses saw officers get out of their cruisers and tell Acevedo to stop. Then they heard gunshots.

The State Attorney's Office investigation concluded that the officers fired roughly 29 shots.

Despite the absence of statements from the officers, the memo states that other evidence established that Acevedo was "a fleeing felon" who posed the threat of death or harm to people in the area.

"The physical, forensic, and eye-witness evidence in this case demonstrates that Acevedo deliberately rammed into vehicles occupied by police and civilian persons while he was in the course of fleeing a felony (bank fraud) and fleeing the police who had lawfully tried to stop him," the memo states.

The report doesn't detail how fast Acevedo was going, but it says the car's accelerator was pushed to 99 percent, "indicating that he was trying to accelerate the vehicle as much as possible." According to the State Attorney's Office, there is surveillance footage of Acevedo at the bank but no video of the actual shooting, which occurred off the premises.

New Times was unable to reach Acevedo's family for comment. The South Florida Police Benevolent Association did not respond to an interview request.
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Alexi C. Cardona is a staff writer at Miami New Times. A Hialeah native, she's happy to be back home writing about Miami's craziness after four years working for Naples Daily News.
Contact: Alexi C. Cardona