More Questions Arise As Second Police Shooting Video Is Released
A video showing a police officer pointing his gun at a man who had just recorded police shooting another man brings more controversy to the shooting.
In the ensuing moments after Miami Beach police shot and killed Raymond Herisse in a hail of bullets on Memorial Day, one officer turned his gun on a man who had recorded the shooting.
That video, which was posted on Youtube late Monday, then goes blank.
But Narces Benoit, a 35-year-old car stereo technician from Palm Beach County, said the officer dragged him out of his car, grabbed his phone and smashed it down on the ground, destroying it.
Police then detained him for several hours at the police station, Benoit told the Miami Herald.
The only reason he was able to salvage the video was because he was able to remove the memory card from the broken phone after the cop had placed it back in his pocket and hide it in his mouth.
The video, the second citizen video to be posted on Youtube since the shooting last week, provides more insight into the shooting that left a 22-year-old man dead.
But it also raises more questions.
The obvious question after viewing this video is why did police wish to destroy evidence, which is a crime. Benoit said that police had destroyed other people’s cameras as well but nobody else has come forwarded with that claim.
It was a highly stressed situation and perhaps police were thinking Benoit was holding a gun instead of a camera, but that still does not justify destroying the phone.
Benoit has retained Palm Beach County attorney Reese Harvey and will most likely file a lawsuit against the police department.
But the main questions surround Herisse, who police describe as a long-time felon who tried to run over several officers before he was shot and killed.
At first, police claimed Herisse was firing out the window, but then it took them two-and-a-half days to find the gun in his car.
And several days after that finding, Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega said it was found in the floorboard behind the driver’s seat, according to the Miami Herald.
He also said they have not determined if the gun had been shot nor did he say if spent shell casings were found inside or outside Benoit’s car.
As for why it took so long for them to find the gun, Noriega said they needed to get legal consent to search the car, but that’s a little difficult to believe considering they had to enter the car to remove Herisse’s body.
And besides, this department is not exactly known for respecting the Constitutional rights of citizens – especially on Memorial Day Weekend.
In fact, these officers acted pretty reckless in discharging their weapons at Herisse, striking four innocent bystanders in the process, including one man who still has a bullet lodged in his chest.
Benoit’s video also show’s that Herisse’s driver side was window was rolled up, which would make it impossible for him to have been shooting out of it.
The first video that was posted on Youtube of the incident was shot from an upstairs apartment and shows the scene from above.
That video, which can be seen above, shows Herisse’s Hyundai moving as gunshots are heard, then coming to a complete stop as police surround the vehicle with their guns drawn.
They then discharge a barrage of rounds into him.
However, the car was not moving before the second barrage of bullets, so it’s not like police feared for their lives because of a lurching car.
And if Herisse was, in fact, holding a gun, you would think that it wouldn’t take police two-and-a-half days to recover it.
Who was Raymond Herisse?
Since he was shot to death, Boynton Beach police said he was the same man who shot a gas station clerk during an armed robbery last November.
The gas station happened to be a few blocks from Herisse’s home. It was, in fact, one of his favorite hangouts, according to a commenter on a blog operated by Miami photographer Liam Crotty, who drove up to Boynton Beach to find out more about Herisse.
The commenter said it was hard to believe that the gas station clerk was able to pick Herisse out from a line-up when he wasn’t able to recognize him during the actual stick-up, considering Herisse hung out there all the time.
Crotty also discovered that Herisse came from a middle-class suburban home where he lived with his Haitian mother and two sisters. Neighbors described him as a good kid who helped his mother with the bills and yard work.
But Herisse has also been arrested 13 times since 2007, mostly involving drugs, driving without a valid license and missing court dates.
However, it was only until after his death that police began tying him to violent crimes.
The second shooting
About an hour after they shot Herisse, another officer shot at another man who was believed to have been trying to run police over, but it turns out, he was only drunk. However, he survived the shooting because the officer missed.
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