A Black man is suing the Miami Police Department after officers arrested him for ‘stealing’ his own car.
When Samuel Scott Jr. called the police on June 1, 2018 to report that his car had been stolen, he likely wasn’t expecting them to arrest him for the crime.
However, that’s exactly what happened when police decided he matched the description of the person who stole the car.
Per the Daily Mail, Scott was leaving his aunt’s house at around 5.40pm when he discovered that his Jeep Compass had disappeared.
At a similar time a few miles away, Miami Police officer Jonathan Guzman spotted a Jeep Compass driving 20mph over the speed limit and attempted to stop the car, but saw it collide with another vehicle and spotted a suspect fleeing on foot.
Police were searching for a man matching Guzman’s description of a ‘Black male, bald, about 6ft 2in and heavyset, with a white tank top’.
When officers responded to Scott’s call two miles away from the crash, they began to ask him questions as though he was a suspect in the theft of his car, despite him being several inches shorter than the suspect’s description and wearing a black shirt, not a white tank top.
Scott was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, false reporting of a crime, failure to carry a concealed-weapon licence and possession of cannabis, but the charges against him were later dropped by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office and he was freed.
Bodycam footage of the incident showed Scott attempting to explain to police officers that they’d apprehended the wrong man, and asking them why he would call the police if he had stolen the car in question.
Now, The Independent reports that Scott is suing the city of Miami and the five police officers involved in his arrest on the grounds that he was unlawfully searched, wrongfully imprisoned and racially profiled.
Faudlin Pierre, Scott’s attorney, says the lawsuit is seeking $500,000 in damages.
He said, ‘He reported it to the cops because he believed that the cops were actually going to assist him. And then it turns out that they racially profiled him.’
Along with Guzman, the other officers named in the lawsuit are Michael Bloom, Brandon Williams, Miguel Hernandez, and Randy Carriel.
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