For more than a year, the cameras at 207 Quickstop in Miami Gardens, Fl., rolled around the clock, says the Miami Herald. They caught a police officer confronting a frail-looking woman, shoving his hand in her purse, dumping its contents on the pavement, then kicking at the scattered items before walking away. They were rolling as another uniformed police officer handcuffed a 69-year-old man, then rifled through his pockets and ordered him to sit down while cuffed behind his back, a feat the man could only accomplish by falling on his backside.
The store's owner, with a group of customers and employees, is preparing to file a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing Miami Gardens police of racial profiling, illegal search and seizure, harassment and intimidation of the store's largely African American employees and customers. The videos were released four days after the Herald published a story, along with previous clips, that detailed how the city's police officers have stopped and arrested people repeatedly for minor infractions. Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert said the videos are disturbing and disheartening, especially in a city whose leaders are nearly all African American.