Friday, February 5. 2010
Laut der American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, die Harold Strickland vertritt, handelt es sich nicht um einen Einzelfall. Es gibt immer seit Jahrzehnten Berichte über Polizeibeamte, die schwule Männer in der Nähe des Flamingo-Parks angreifen, schikanieren und verhaften - manchmal dient als einzige Begründung, dass sie "schwul aussehen". Auch dass Zeugen oder Zeuginnen von Polizeimisshandlungen bedroht wurden oder ihnen das Mobiltelefon bzw. die SIM-Card abgenommen wurde, ist mehrfach dokumentiert.
Die ACLU Florida hat nun Klagen gegen die zwei misshandelnden Polizisten und gegen die Stadtverwaltung vorbereitet und schildert in einem Schreiben an den Bürgermeister von Miami Beach den Tathergang:
As Strickland walked on Michigan Avenue along the west side of Flamingo Park, speaking to his sister on his cell phone, he saw police officers chase away two men in the park who were kissing – the men were not engaged in any illegal conduct. He then saw two men who appeared to be undercover police officers, and were later identified as Officers Hazzi and Forte, chase a young Spanish-speaking male through the parking lot next to Flamingo Park and onto Michigan Avenue. Still talking with his sister over the phone, Strickland watched as the officers dragged the man to the ground, handcuffed him, and began beating him.Der Tonbandmitschnitt des Gesprächs zwischen Strickland und der Telefonistin an der Notrufnummer und sein davor geführtes Telefonat mit seiner Schwester widerlegen die Behauptung der beiden Polizisten, Strickland sei von ihnen erwischt worden, als er versuchte, geparkte Autos zu öffnen und auf der Flucht gestolpert. Die Tonbandaufnahme und die Polizeiprotokolle über die beiden Verhaftungen sind ebenso wie der vollständige Brief an Bprgermeister Matti Harrera Bower auf der Website der ACLU abrufbar.
The young man (John Doe, an assumed name to protect his privacy) lives in the apartment building immediately adjacent to the parking lot. The two officers chased and beat him for doing nothing more than walking within a few yards of his own home and trying to engage a police officer in conversation. While the officers chased Doe, he yelled, “Who are you”? and “Why are you chasing me?” He had no idea why he was being chased or that the men chasing him were in fact police officers.
As cell phone records confirm, Strickland told his sister he would call her back and, at 1:05 a.m., he called 911. Strickland reported to the emergency dispatch officer at MBPD that the two undercover officers had handcuffed the man, who was on the ground next to a car, and were kicking him “like his head was a football.” The dispatcher asked Strickland for his location and to walk closer so that he could attempt to read and relay the license plate on the officers’ car. As he walked closer he saw and reported to the 911 dispatcher that there was no license plate on the car.
Strickland had attracted the attention of the two officers beating Doe on the ground; they approached Strickland, demanded to know what he was doing, took Strickland’s telephone, and ended his 911 call. Strickland told the officers that he was on the telephone with 911 because they were attacking Doe. The officers then told Strickland: “We know what you’re doing here. We’re sick of all the fucking fags in the neighborhood.” The officers pushed Strickland to the ground and tied his hands behind his back.
While Strickland was on the ground, the officers continued to spew anti-gay epithets. They called him a “fucking fag” and told him he was going to “get it good in jail.” Strickland explained to the officers why he had approached them and called 911. He told them he was walking to his hotel and asked them to look in his pocket to get his room key as proof he was telling the truth. When one officer continued to hurl anti-gay slurs, Strickland told them he was going to report them. In response, the officers told him that people like him “disappear every day.” The officers laughed and one asked the other, “should we just take him downtown and get rid of him?”
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2010-01-14/news/gays-are-leaving-south-beach-for-fort-lauderdale/ berichtet über sich häufende Überfälle auch Schwule und das sich verschlechternde Klima.