ACLU Slams “Extreme” Abuse By Miami Gardens Police

Miami Gardens convenience store owner Alex Saleh feels burned by his city’s police department, and he’s about to fight back.

Saleh, 36, and his attorney are reportedly preparing to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Miami Gardens police department amid allegations that officers have stopped, frisked and harassed customers and employees at his store. Many of the incidents were caught on cameras that Saleh installed outside his store in 2012.

One of his employees, Earl Sampson, has reportedly been arrested 62 times for trespassing, oftentimes while on the job in the very store he worked.

Baylor Johnson, a spokesman for the ACLU of Florida, says it’s one of the most stunning cases of police abuse he has seen.

“It’s a particularly extreme and bizarre case of police abuse,” he told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos. “But unfortunately it reflects patterns the ACLU has documented in police enforcement all over the country.”

Johnson said that the incident has already hurt relations between the police department and the people of Miami Gardens.

“Whenever we receive a complaint about one of our officers, not only do we take it seriously but we swiftly investigate the allegations,” Miami Gardens chief of police Matthew Boyd said in a statement. “Our goal as a department is to enforce the laws of the state of Florida in a manner that shows respect and concern for the residents and businesses we are charged with protecting.”