Miami Gardens Police Arrest Man For Trespassing At His Place Of Employment 62 Times

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

miami gardensEarl Sampson works as a clerk at a Quickstop convenience store in Miami Gardens, Florida. He’s been arrested 62 times for trespassing, almost every time at that Quickstop where he’s employed.  How can Sampson be trespassing while he working? Sampson is a 28 year-old African-American male.

Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years. He’s been searched more that 100 times and arrested and jailed 56 times. Yet Sampson has never been convicted of any crime more serious than possession of marijuana.

Alex Saleh, the store’s owner for 17 years, has been watching his customers, mostly poor and black, being harassed by Miami Gardens police for more than a year. Saleh decided to install 15 video cameras, not to protect the store from criminals, but to protect his customers from Miami Gardens police.

The videos show Miami Gardens police using excessive force on subjects who are not resisting arrest. They also show Miami Gardens police searching the store without warrants and without permission. The videos also show that Miami Gardens police have lied on arrest reports.

Saleh, along with his attorney, Steve Lopez, are preparing to file a federal civil rights lawsuit. Last December, Saleh was followed out of his store’s parking lot by a Miami Gardens police cruiser. He was pulled over for having a broken tag light. During the stop two other squad cars arrived for a total of six Miami Gardens police officers, for a burned out license plate bulb. The excess of police officers is a typical intimidation tactic. The video of that night showed Seleh’s truck leaving the parking lot with a working tag light.

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Florida, said:

Where is the police chief in all this? In a police department in a city this size, this kind of behavior could not escape his attention. Doesn’t the City Commission know that they are exposing the city to either massive liability for civil rights violations? Either that, or they are going to wake up one day and find the U.S. Department of Justice has taken over its police department.

Below is a video of Sampson taking out the garbage. When he reenters the store, he’s arrested for trespassing.

H/T: Julie K. Brown (Miami Herald), Natasha Lennard, Melanie Eversley.

16 thoughts on “Miami Gardens Police Arrest Man For Trespassing At His Place Of Employment 62 Times”

  1. Our marina where the dogpac lives and hangs out is near Palm Beach. I wont say exactly where. We have enough tourists. But that Miami Gardens police department is notorious. That town is Pirate Territory. Fly over and flush.

  2. Miami Gardens Police Department:

    George Zimmerman is looking for a job and it appears he might be a really good fit for your department.

  3. Civil rights suits are a wonderful aspect of American justice. Any citizen can fight back and have a jury decide if the igPays are unjust. Then they can impose a just sentence of damages on the citizens of the municipality that employs the igPays. The citizens of a town that is unjust deserve to pay for the crimes of their igPays. The igPay is an agent of the citizen of that particular town. If the citizens do not know that their igPays are so unjust then they need to open their blind eyes and ears.

  4. Dang good story nal…. I’ve seemed to miss that…. Mike you might be right…. I know a store burned down for some reason… The cops used to always park there vehicles there waiting for folks to come out of the store…. A complaint was lodged and suddenly the store burnt…..

  5. This is an amazing story David. I guess Mr. Sampson is guilty of working while black. I hope the civil suit is successful and the city has to empty out its pockets. Maybe then it will learn its lesson.

  6. I read about this story yesterday. There has to be a back story, so I hope the lawsuit proceeds apace, so we can see what discovery and a few depositions turn up.

  7. David,

    Interesting story. I hope you keep us abreast of it as the case develops. Good show.

  8. The Pasadena, TX police dept had a policy that all the police had to be hired by bar owners as security. A friend of mine opened an ice house that served just beer and wine, a Texas institution. He wanted to simply have a place for refinery workers to get a beer before going home. The PPD, came to him and asked if he needed some security before he opened. He told them no.

    After the place started, every person who left the place was stopped by a PPD cruiser on one pretext or another. Needless to say, this discouraged business and the place closed. I knew another bar in Houston which was in our apartment complex. They were asked if they needed or wanted HPD protection. They initially said no. Then the cops raided the place and hauled a lot of people out. The manager reconsidered his decision and hired HPD officers who proceeded to be just a brutal as possible to any persons arrested. Most of the time the cops would not bother showing up for “work” except on weekends. They still got paid for the whole week

    I think this program is pretty standard for most police departments. They are simply crooked cops and any person who blows the whistle will end up like Frank Serpico, shot, maybe dead, or in exile in Switzerland.

  9. This isn’t the America that we want.

    If we aren’t careful, we will lose what made this country great.

  10. What Nal blogs about is evidently a well known dynamic in the area:

    There are some serious concerns about civil rights and overzealous law enforcement.

    (Wikipedia, “Miami Gardens, Florida”). My guess is that it is economic ethnic cleansing in the works.

  11. I find this story interesting and would want more of it. The charges of police harassment, especially with the camera backup are persuasive, but I wonder what it is about this particular store that drives the focus of their attention and illegal harassment. For years in venues all across our country various local police officers have expected to be treated in a certain manner by business proprietors. These range for not being charged for their donuts and coffee, to the badge empowered versions of the well know protection racket. In New York City where I was raised the common knowledge was that local police precincts had what is known as the “Captain’s Pad”. This denoted a certain amount each month “picked up” from retailers, with the lion’s share going to the captain of the precinct. This practice among others, always flourished in the less affluent (and less White areas) because their complaints would go unanswered.

    Perhaps Mr. Saleh doesn’t want to participate in largesse to the police and his employee Mr. Sampson is but one of the annoyances brought upon him for not “respecting” his local police. Mr. Saleh may well be a very brave man for publicly protesting.

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