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Miami Beach Police harrass gay witness to their brutality

Timothy Kincaid

February 3rd, 2010

Miami Beach Officers Frankly Forte and Elliot Hazzi were going about their business of kicking an unarmed man in the head when they realized that they were being observed. By a gay man, of all people.

So they approached Harold Strickland, pushed him to the ground, tied his hands behind his back and screamed homophobic slurs at him. They said they were sick of the f**ing f**gots in the neighborhood so they decided to arrest him for “attempting to break into cars”.

Unfortunately for Forte and Hazzi, Strickland was on the phone with a 911 operator reporting the beating he was witnessing when they decided that he would be target number two. And the tape of the call corroborates Strickland’s call up until the point where the officers demanded to know who he was and what he was doing there. At the time they “observed him” breaking the law, he was face down in their custody being subjected to police brutality.

The officers are still on duty.

Let me repeat, the officers are still on duty. And I can’t help but wonder why the 911 call did not immediately generate a top level investigation. Were I on a jury, the lack of concern on the part of the city would weigh heavily on my determining of just how much to award Mr. Strickland.

It’s no wonder that the gay community is fleeing Miami Beach. They have decided that they’d rather have thugs and monsters than “f**ing f**gots” for. I wonder how that’s working out for them.



February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

They beat an innocent man, were caught red handed and theirs irrefutable proof they broke the law. They are facing a slap on the wrist at best.

How typical. Have they done the ‘internal investigation’ yet that finds the officer completely innocent despite all evidence?

Lynn David
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Lawsuit…. massive lawsuit, including civil rights lawsuit. If Obama is real about gay rights he’ll get the Justice Department on this.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

@ Lynn

It makes me want to cry that I know he won’t.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Hopefully these bad cops will be prosecuted and have hate crime penalties added as well.

Either there’s just more reporting of bad cops beating up innocent people or using excessive force on non-violent law breakers or there’s something else going on here.

I wonder if many or most of these bad cops were once schoolyard bullies and now that they are adults, they have become policemen and still carry their bully like attitudes with them and now have weapons and a badge to contitnue to perpetuate their taunts on the innocent.

Even a person guilty of a crime does not deserve to have their heads kicked in and their bodies brutalized. Otherwise, these bad cops think that they are judge, jury and executioner all encompassed in one body.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

And this is exactly why I think hate crimes laws are necessary. I would not trust these officers’ colleagues to investigate the issue fairly. By bringing in outside investigators, the probability of them receiving a fair trial (rather than one skewed in their favor) are increased.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

This happened last March? So the New Mattew Sheperd legislation may not apply, though it should. However, the lack of investigation is a story that the mainstream news media needs to share witht the public at large.

Media coverage or lack thereof is an issue that continues because it is unpopular.

Call or email the major news companies of your choice today.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Call the Miami Beach Mayor’s office (Matti Herrera Bower) and demand (1) the police officers involved in this incident be placed on administrative leave (suspended from active duty) until an investigation is complete; (2) an independent review by the Miami Beach (MB) Commissioners is conducted in addition to an internal review by the MB police department; (3) sensitivity training be implemented across the MB police force.

The number is 305-673-7035

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Don’t know why Timothy didn’t make it more explicit but if you click on the final link in his post you’ll see that the ACLU of Florida is pursuing a civil suit on behalf of Harold Strickland. They also provide a link to a recording of the 911 call.

Pete H
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Another symptom of Miami’s inexorable slide toward “worst city in America” status.

Priya Lynn
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Pete, I think this sort of police behavior is common throughout the U.S. I think Eddie89 had it right, a lot of these cops were schoolyard bullies. I recall a friend of mines son coming home from school and bragging about how he and his buddies were picking on another student. When we scolded him for it he got all indignant and claimed the strong bullying the weak was the way of the world and that’s the way things should be. He later went on to become a cop. I’m convinced bullies are attracted to having power over others and I shudder to think how the people most ill-suited to being cops are the very ones attracted to the job.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

“I’m convinced bullies are attracted to having power over others and I shudder to think how the people most ill-suited to being cops are the very ones attracted to the job.”

Good point, Priya. Makes me wonder how many politicians and evangelists were bullies as children.

February 4th, 2010 | LINK

“Either there’s just more reporting of bad cops beating up innocent people or using excessive force on non-violent law breakers or there’s something else going on here.”

I think it’s the growing use of cell phones and camera phones that’s driving it. Cops used to be able to lie and cover up much more effectively before they became so prevalent, which is why you see a push from law enforcement (such as in Massachusetts)to criminalize recording them.

Nevada Blue
February 8th, 2010 | LINK

Mike, the sad thing is that the increased evidence has not changed anything with the possible exception that the victimized individual comes out of it financially better off. The cops still get away with it scot free, often with paid time off, and because most cities are self insured, the people end up paying for the civil suit.

April 12th, 2011 | LINK

I need a BULLDOG attorney in Miami to help us in a recent police brutality that took place 04/08/2011. My business partner was beat on conscious at his home by the MBPD. Anyone out there please that knows on please advise

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