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Unarmed Tourist Shot Dead By Police; Family Wants Answers

Two brothers from Virginia come down to Miami for a few days of vacation. One of them is shot and killed by a police officer. He was unarmed. That same officer kills another man four days later.
June 25, 2009 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Local News  | 60 Comments

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Husien Shehada and his girlfriend

Like many tourists who come down to Miami Beach, Husien Shehada and his brother, Samer, had planned the vacation for months, saving up enough money where they could splurge for a few days with their girlfriends.

They arrived two weeks ago from Virginia and stayed at the Loews Hotel, each of them spending $239 a night for their respective rooms for each couple. After spending a few days on the beach and hanging by the pool, they decided to see some alligators, so they rented a car and drove to the Everglades.

Then they drove up to Broward County to the Sawgrass Mills Malls to do some shopping. The two brothers sat in the food court eating pizza while their girlfriends purchased outfits at Bebe.

After getting back to their rooms and resting a bit, they got ready to go out to Sobe Live because they wanted to see DJ Terrence perform. Khloe Kardashian was also going to be there. The girlfriends were excited to wear their new outfits.

They danced for a couple of hours, then walked back to their rooms. But the night was still young - at least for South Beach standards - so they walked back outside to buy some cigarettes and maybe something to eat and enjoy the balmy evening.

At about 4:30 a.m., the two couples were walking down Washington Avenue. The two brothers were walking up ahead. Their girlfriends were following closely behind.

Suddenly, about seven Miami Beach police officers approached the brothers from behind and ordered them to turn around.

“We didn’t know what was going on,” said Samer. “We saw a bunch of lights. Heard a bunch of shouting.  We were in a state of shock.”

Seconds later, one of the officers opened fire, killing Husien.

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Husien Shehada, left, and his brother Samer were best friends.

“I saw my brother go down so I laid down next to him and lifted his head,” Samer said. “Blood was coming out of his mouth.

“He turned and faced me. I saw him take his last breath.”

Husien was 29 years old.

A Second Shooting

Adam Tavss, the officer who shot and killed Husien, was involved in a second officer-involved shooting just four days after in which he and another officer shot and killed a carjacking suspect.

This despite the fact that police assured he would be placed on paid administrative leave until a thorough investigation had been conducted.

Miami Beach Police spokesman Juan Sanchez said that departmental policy requires officers to undergo a psychology screening and be placed on leave for a minimum of 72 hours. He said that policy is backed by state and national police certification standards.

In Tavss’ case, he was cleared to be back on duty in four days. Police say the second suspect he shot, Lawrence Raymond McCoy, was armed. Husien Shehada was not.

“How in the world can they clear an officer while the body is still warm and allow him to kill again?” asked John Contini, attorney for the Shehada family.

Accused of Domestic Violence

In the seconds after the shooting, police descended upon Samer and handcuffed him, throwing him in the back of a police car. He was charged with domestic violence for an incident that allegedly occurred three hours before the shooting.

Police said they confronted the men because several people had called 911 with reports of two men walking around with guns under their shirts.

They said the men in question turned out to be the Shehada brothers, but it turned out they were only carrying a bottle and a wooden coat hanger to make it appear as if they were carrying guns.

The say the Shehada brothers were looking for two men with whom they had fought with earlier.  They say the brothers were intending to intimidate the men with the hidden objects.

But a surveillance video that recorded the two men in the moments before Husien was shot doesn’t appear to support these statements.

In fact, the video shows the brothers walking down the street with their arms swinging at their sides. It shows the two brothers suddenly stopping, as if being beckoned by police.

And it shows Husien catapulting out of the frame after being shot.

No bottle. No coat hanger. Not even an indication that they were not complying.

Furthermore, Samer said there were at least seven officers who had stopped them, yet it was only one officer who fired.

If it were true that Husien appeared to be reaching for a gun, then all the officers would have fired because that is what they are trained to do.

In the second shooting Tavss was involved in, fellow officer Frank Celestre also shot the suspect. But they say that suspect actually had a gun and was firing it at officers.

In the Shehada incident, Contini said that one of the officers was pointing a Taser gun at the men but didn’t fire it, which he says proves that the Shehada brothers did not come across as a threat.

Contini, who obtained the video from club Twist and released it to the media, said police had obtained it three days earlier but did not plan on releasing it.

He said they even attempted to obtain the original copy – which would have prevented any further copies to be made - but the managers at Twist insisted on a subpoena.

Police told The Miami Herald that they obtained video surveillance from “several locations” which shows the men were “looking menacing” as they were walking down the street.

But Contini said the only video that exists is the one that has been released, and it doesn’t show them looking any more menacing than anybody else walking down the street on any given night.

And he said said the domestic abuse charge is nothing but a distraction to keep the attention off the real crime, which is an unjustified police shooting of an unarmed man.

“Even if it did happen, how does that justify executing his brother three hours later?”

Interrogation Room

After the shooting, police placed Samer in an interrogation room in the Miami Beach Police Department where they kept telling him his brother was going to survive.

At about 10:30 a.m. that morning, he overheard one of the girlfriends crying that his brother had died. That was when he lost it.

“I punched the glass in the interrogation room because I wanted to grab my cell phone and call my mother,” he said. “I was going hysterical.”

He said police allowed him to use the phone but kept telling him not to bleed on the walls from the cut on his hand. He said they placed him in a car to take him to the hospital for the cut but then they turned the car around and placed him in a holding cell back at the station.

Meanwhile, police had the girlfriends sign a consent form that would allow them to search the hotel rooms. However, Contini believes they had already entered the rooms because one of them was carrying one of their purses, which he said she had left in the room.

“They signed the form long after the search had been conducted,” he said.

Contini also said that police placed the women in a separate room in the hotel under aliases.

“They did that to prevent the media to get to them,” he said.

But the media tracked them down anyway. One of the TV stations interviewed Samer’s girlfriend and she insisted that the allegations of domestic abuse were fabricated.

She even made a point of allowing the cameras to film her face and body to prove there were no marks.

However, Samer’s arrest report states that he was beating her on the corner of Washington Avenue and 13th Street. They said he hurled her to the ground and threatened to kick her in the face.

They said two “unknown men” intervened and roughed up Samer. Then they Samer and his girlfriend returned to the hotel where he continued beating her.

Police say that when Husien returned to the room with his girlfriend, the two men decided to go look for the men who had roughed up Samer. That is when they grabbed a coat hanger and a bottle.

But that still leaves some unanswered questions.

Usually, police need witnesses in cases of domestic abuse. Usually these witnesses are the victims themselves. But there doesn’t appear to be any witnesses to the alleged incident involving Samer and his girlfriend, especially that part of him beating her inside the hotel room.

Also, sometimes suspects place objects under their shirts to give the appearance of guns, but we usually hear about this happening when somebody is trying to rob a store or a bank.

Why would anybody show up to a fight acting as if they had a gun under their shirt when they didn’t?

Police also said they received several 911 calls but have yet to release the audio of any of those calls. Contini said he is working on getting that audio as well as the radio transmissions between officers and dispatch of the moments before and after the shooting.

One of the people who supposedly called 911 is Derek Reynolds, a doorman at Twist. He stated in a police report that Shehada appeared to reach for a weapon when he was stopped by police.

However, Contini said that Reynolds is applying to be an officer with the Miami Beach Police Department and he also has an uncle that works there, giving his statements little credibility.

Contini said he has been talking to other witnesses who believe the shooting was completely unjustified, including a pair of French tourists.

He urges more witnesses to come forward.

“I know people are scared because they see what the Miami Beach Police Department is capable of,” he said.

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Above: Husien Shehada during happier times.

Racial Profiling?

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has questioned whether the shooting was racially motivated because police apparently asked witnesses whether Husien was speaking Arabic. This is not the first time the Miami Beach Police Department has been accused of racially profiling.

In fact, they get accused of it every Memorial Day Weekend when throngs of black people descend upon Miami Beach for Hip Hop Weekend because they end up making tons of arrests, many which eventually get thrown out of court.

It is not hard to understand why the Shehada family believes this to be profiling because they can’t find any other logical explanation as to why an officer would shoot an unarmed man who was not committing a crime.

The Shehada brothers were born in the United States to Palestinian parents. Like many children of immigrant parents, they straddled the line between two cultures as they pursued the American Dream. Samer, 31, is an engineer. Husien was a limousine chauffeur.

Because they are Muslims, Samer was required to wash his brother’s body to prepare it for burial. It was the hardest thing he had ever done.

“My life will never be the same,” he said. “He was my best friend. We hung out all the time.”

Contini is in the process of gathering enough evidence to file a lawsuit. And the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is also investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, the Shehada family is urging the U.S. Justice Department to conduct a proper investigation into the shooting because they have no confidence in the local authorities.  They are urging people who read this article to also call the Justice Department to demand an investigation.

“They didn’t take my brother’s killing serious enough to do a proper investigation,” he said. “Four days is not a proper investigation. It’s as if my brother’s killing was a joke.”

And he can’t get over the fact that a trip to Miami Beach for a few days of fun and sun would result in such a tragedy.

“This could have happened to anybody,” he said. “Anybody.”

Related Categories: Miami True Crime Stories and Shocking Events Miami: Local News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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60 Comments on

"Unarmed Tourist Shot Dead By Police; Family Wants Answers"

Alex says:

Carlos, the video doesn’t show “their arms swinging at their sides.” Only the right arms are swinging. Their left arms are pressed against their bodies. You can clearly see that when the shorter one turns and walks behind his brother. And look at 0.13 on the video, when Husien is shot, his arm is still against his body. Besides the video is not clear enough to categorically say “no coat hanger, no bottle”, especially when the police is not claiming they had those items in clear view.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 9:06 AM

Aaron in Miramar says:

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not somebody that alwasy sides with the police.  Nice article but I’m definitely going to hold off on labeling the officer as trigger happy and these guys as saints. 

As Alex said, the video seems to be more supportive that at least one of them was holding something within the beltline of their pants (watch the 8-10 second marks intently). 

If we’re going to throw out the Twist doorman’s testimony as biased then we’re also going to have to dismiss the girlfriend’s accusation that there was no domestic violence incident as equally biased.  I would think the anger over a argument in the street would subside after the other party has been shot in the street. 

The shooting of the carjacker also doesn’t seem to be more than an unfortunate coincidence as that suspect apparently was an armed lunatic.  You can dispute that but then we’re to the point in which debate is moot as one would then been deeming all police issued information as lies. 

I think if there WAS a domestic dispute and these guys WERE attempting to appear as they were carrying a weapon then we have a whole different story than the human interest one of two immigrants struggling for the American dream and attempting to have an enjoyable weekend in Miami Beach with their girlfriends.  Hopefully some witnesses without ties to the police department or the brothers come forward so we can make that distinction.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 10:50 AM

Horrified In Miami says:

@Alex… Watch the video again. Keep an eye on Husein. At the 5 second mark Husein enters the screen. Between 6-7 he looks over as if being called. He begins walking toward the curb. At 8-9 seconds, Husein raises both arms. His arms remain raised until at the 13 second mark his body contorts as the bullet hits his chest. His arms then go down to place his hands over his wound as he catapults from view.

Carlos, I have been following this story since this young man was killed last week. Little detail about what actually occurred was available until now. After seeing this video on the day released, I watched it over and over again. I think I was trying to find some justification for this awful tragedy. I was hoping to see a video proving this officer was left with little choice and proof the supposed confrontation. However, the more I watched the more horrified I grew. I believe it is absolutely 100% clear that this officer made a mistake. Mistakes happen. What I find disturbing is that this department appears to be participating in some type of coverup to cover the Offier Tavss’ arse. It is one thing to make a mistake, call it what it was an apologize to the family. It is another to flat out lie about what occurred, blaming an innocent victim as though he did something to deserve to die. This video shows no confrontation between the men and the police, in fact it shows compliance. The girlfriend showed no signs of the alleged beating they claim she received. This whole thing has grown from an officer making a mistake to the entire department contributing to the crime with the obvious lies being told. While only one cop shot him, the other 6 officers who stood beside him are obviously not speaking up and allowing the department to continue to lie. Would that not be a crime for a civilian? If I stood by while my friend shot an unarmed tourist, then lied about what occurred to protect my friend… would I not be charged with a crime and thrown in jail?

How can we trust those in a position to uphold the law, when they believe they are above it?

Anyone remember the story on Miami Beach Police intimidating civilians that try to report an officer for any form of misconduct? There was video evidence of the police refusing to supply the forms. Officers literally escorting people out of the stations and threatening them.

My call is in to the Justice Department, something must be done! I hope others will make the call too. Samer is right, this could have been any of us. My daughter, my son, my husband… myself. I will not sit back and wait for another life to be lost.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 11:07 AM

Alex says:

Horrified: we must be watching a different video because I don’t see Husein or anybody raising his arms. His shoulders and neck are off the frame but it doesn’t seem to me that his tshirt moves up as it would if he raised his arms or that his upper body posture changes. I don’t see his arm coming down to clutch his wound either. What I do see is both their left arms not swinging freely as Carlos says in the post.

I don’t know what happened and I don’t think the video is as conclusive as the family’s attorney want us to believe. I do think it’s very weird that the same officer is involved in two fatal shootings within five days, but just based on this video I’m not going to condemn him.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 11:27 AM

Silver says:

Not trying to justify the officer’s action, but to me, it looks like the second or two right before Husein was shot, Samer’s left hand reached back toward his waist band. You can sort of see his shirt tail lifting up a bit.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 11:48 AM

Horrified in Miami says:

Alex: Husein is the first to enter the video. If you pause the video above at the 7 second mark, you can use your mouse to slowly move the red bar. This will simulate a slow motion view. Do this and watch his arms go from his side to above his head between 7 and 9 seconds. If you do the same thing at the 12 second mark, you will see his arms go down when shot. While you cannot see their heads/faces in the video.. what you can see is that the man that was shot had his arms up. According to all involved that man was Husein Shehada. You can also see that in the seconds before the shooting.. you do not see his arms are not at his sides at all.

I understand that you do not want to jump to conclusions and condemn him. I believe in many cases, officers are not given then benefit of the doubt when things go wrong on the job. There are certainly cases where the public trashes them, jumps to conclusions and condemns them for doing their jobs. There are a lot of heroic cops out there saving lives and protecting the public. My hat is off to them. However, as I am sure you will agree… not all police officers are created equal.

I am more apt to believe it was an error in judgment by a scared police officer than a case of racial profiling.  My biggest problem with this is the lack of accountability. After seeing this video and reading MBPD’s account of what happened.. their story doesn’t add up. People lie, Surveillance tapes don’t.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 11:55 AM

Brad A Schenck says:

Thanks Carlos for continuing to report on the issue. It does appear that this event was not taken very seriously by the department.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 1:15 PM

Carlos Miller says:

I’ve been rewatching that video over and over and I’m convinced Husien had both arms in the air when he was shot.

You need to look at this video frame by frame. Just click pause and play immediately, which would give you shorter frames than if you moved your cursor on the red graph.

We need to focus on Husien because he is the one who was shot. Just forget about the other guy for now.

His arms are swinging. Not gorilla-like but the way they would if you were walking down the street without holding something under your shirt.

He is actually the first to hear the cops, the first to stop. His brother has a slower reaction. It’s as if he is reacting to his brother’s reaction as opposed to the police commands.

Husien appears to hear them loud and clear.

From 8 to 9 seconds, you can see his arms go up. You can see this by focusing on his short sleeves, not on the arms themselves because you really can’t make them out from the grainy background. Focus on the shoulders.

At this point, his brother still hasn’t lifted his arms but he is not the one that was shot.

Husien’s arms are still up at 12 seconds when the middle of his body begins to move backwards, which is when he was getting shot.

Keep pausing and playing it and you see see his arm begin to go down at this point. And soon he disappears from the frame.

Click on the actual video so you can watch it on Youtube instead of on this page because in its embedded form, you have the title of the video covering the top portion of the frame.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 3:01 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Aaron,

You need to be more specific. You can’t just say “at least one of them was holding something” when only one was specifically targeted and shot.

If there WAS a domestic, it still has no relevance to the actual shooting considering it allegedly happened three hours earlier.

Right now, there is more evidence to support that they were just here trying to enjoy their vacation than the story that has been told by police about domestic violence and coat hangers and beer bottles and concealed objects.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 3:21 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Silver,

If Samer’s hand was doing as you said, then why wasn’t he the one that was shot?

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 3:23 PM

SusieQ says:

Thank you Carlos! In your response to Aaron you are 100% on target. The Miami Beach police department has made a lot of statements against these men in an attempt to justify the officers actions. They’ve essentially implied they are violent, menaces to society and they deserved what they got.

At this point, the only evidence that has come out is the surveillance video. This video shows that the alleged confrontation the Shehada brothers had with the police did not happen. They flat out lied! If they lied about this.. what else are they lying about? How can we believe anything else this department says? They arrested Samer for allegedly beating his girlfriend.. the girlfriend not only denies this, she has no visible injuries to support their claims. How can we believe they stuffed their pockets with items to appear armed? How can we believe anything they say??

The Justice Department must get involved at this point. How can we feel at ease that a proper investigation has been completed when those in charge of it have proven to be untrustworthy!?!

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 3:38 PM

Alex says:

I work with video everyday. I know how to look at video frame by frame (which you can’t do in youtube BTW, you can only do second by second). It’s not there. You think it is, I don’t see it.

I certainly don’t see the arm freely swinging and I don’t see how the video contradicts that maybe they had objects under their shirts and I don’t see if they were being menacing or not. It’s not the smoking gun you make it out to be. Obviously it wasn’t for the police investigators and I have a strong feeling it won’t be for the SAO either. A civil jury, maybe.

Horrified: I’m no police defender, actually the opposite. No need for the “most of them are heroes” speech with me. But if somebody is ratcheting up the rhetoric here is the attorney who is using loaded words like “execution” and racial profiling. That’s his job, but I don’t have to buy it.

If you really want to change something, push for a change in police rules. I don’t believe the police should shoot unless they are shot at. Their job is risky. It goes with the territory. You enact that rule and you don’t have any more excuses for cases like Diallo.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:01 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Alex,

You don’t see his arms raised? How are you looking at the video frame by frame?

Read the initial reports of the shootings. This is how the Herald described it, which were basing their reports on what police were telling them.

“They spoke. Unknown words were exchanged. A confrontation ensued.”

Where do you see a confrontation in that video?

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:07 PM

Alex says:

BTW, I’m only talking about the video. There may very well be other evidence or witnesses that shows the shooting was unjustified. There may be a cover up. It wouldn’t be the first time. Or maybe there is a bottle and a coat hanger and witnesses who says the guys were being aggressive. Hypothesis are fine as long as we realize we are not arguing with all the evidence.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:09 PM

Horrified In Miami says:

I don’t understand how anyone can miss his arms raising in this video. Yes, it’s grainy but not THAT grainy. If you pause and 7 seconds and manually move it forward second by second its impossible to miss.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:12 PM

Alex says:

I guess you’ll have to ask the Herald or the police. I’m not claiming to see a confrontation with the police and besides, my firm belief is that even if there was a verbal confrontation that’s no reason to shoot. But I don’t see raised hands either.

(My point is that you can’t see frame by frame on this digitized and compressed crappy video. Have you seen the actual video? Was it tape or digital?)

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:16 PM

Silver says:

I agree that if Samer’s hand was moving, theoretically, the officer should have shot at him.  However, it’s obvious to me at least, from the fact that anyone at all was shot that the officer involved had a severe lack of judgment, overreaction, inexperience, whatever.  As a result, he may have had his gun aimed at Husein, but when he saw Samer’s hand move, just pulled the trigger. The fact that Samer also walked behind his brother to face the officer could have something to do with the officer shooting Husein instead.
Again, not justifying his actions. Remember also, we’re all watching this frame by frame, pausing each second. Officers on the scene don’t have that ability. (which is why, I believe, shooting should be the absolute last thing an officer ever does in a situation like this)
 
That being said, the Miami Beach Police Department should be investigated for their handling of this case. Although in many respects, it doesn’t surprise me.  It would be rare for a police department to come out and say, yeah, one of officers screwed up and we’ll own up to it.  Denial is the name of the game when it comes to admitting liability.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:17 PM

JustBeachy says:

I believe this is the first place the video was published. Not sure if this is what you were looking for…

http://cbs4.com/video/?id=78325@wfor.dayport.com

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:20 PM

Alex says:

Horrified, I presume you are wearing a shirt right now. Raise you hands over your head and tell me if the back of your shirt moves up or stays at exactly the same height it was before.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:21 PM

Horrified In Miami says:

Alex: Lucky Guess smile

I’m not looking at the back of his shirt. I’m looking at his arms/sleeves. Did you maximize the video? When you do that, it actually makes it harder to see.

Posted on 06/25/2009 at 4:25 PM

million says:

Are his arms folded?  It’s a grainy shot, hard to tell exactly what his arms are doing.

Depending on the seven cops’ positioning at the time, the most damning piece of evidence might be no one else firing their weapons to corroborate his judgment.

Posted on 06/26/2009 at 1:11 PM

Aaron in Miramar says:

Any attempt to get more specific and arrive at any sort of fair conclusion on this is hampered by the little evidence that actually exists.  Not to sound harsh, but the background story of these two guys really is irrelavent.  Any attempt to humanize the potential victims with their supposed life histories and vacation mindsets is about as fair as demonizing the cop without strong evidence either way. 

My main points were that:

a) the poor quality video really serves to prove nothing as it doesn’t show the brothers skipping down Washington but potentially shows one of the brothers holding his beltline moments before the shooting.

b) the girlfriends statements about having not been pushed down on the street are equally as valid/invalid as the Twist’s doorman’s account of what happened. 

c) if there was a public domestic dispute followed by an attempt to appear as though you’re brandishing a firearm on a mission to kill somebody in the wee hours of the morning followed by at least one of the brothers grabbing his beltline immediately prior to the shooting then we have a completely different set of circumstances.

Again, until you can disprove C I’m not ready to say that the police are to blame on this.  Any evidence presented thus far is pretty weak to and not enough to arrive at an unbiased conclusion. There have to had been more witnesses to this event and the events leading up to this that will provide a clearer insight.

Posted on 06/27/2009 at 3:48 PM

Horrified in Miami says:

Little evidence… Kinda the point. The police have yet to release the supposed 911 calls or other video they claim to have. They have concluded the officer was not at fault but state the investigation in continuing and refuse to release anything. Several witnesses that came forward have told a story of intimidation by the police. Witnesses that stated the victim did nothing, were berated and scared off.They then called the Herald and the familys attorney after seeing the cops story on the news. Say what you please, something is shady here and it aint the palm trees!

Posted on 06/27/2009 at 4:17 PM

husiens cousin says:

As a close relative of Husien, I can verify to all that neither Husien nor Samer Shehada were armed. Here in Virginia, none of them even own a gun or any type of weapon as a matter of fact. They flew down to Miami on vacation. Here’s another thought to ponder… How can they board a plane if they were armed? They can’t. Also if he happened to purchase a weapon in Miami, Miami police would have had that on file by now but they DON’T. And when they searched Husien’s body after shooting him, they found nothing. So as for the ignorant incompetent cop that shot him, we will GET MY COUSIN JUSTICE and when justice is served, hopefully you won’t get the chance to ever pick up a gun again. We are determined to get such an inexperienced “cop” off the streets and removed from his title.  2 men in one week is 2 too many. Husien Rest In Peace habibi, I love you. We all love you <3

Posted on 06/27/2009 at 6:33 PM

derek reynolds says:

This is Derek Reynolds from the article; first thing first, my future employment options have no relevance to my testimony. I am more credible of a witness because I work security at the place it happened in front of, which means; as a licensed security officer in this state, regardless of my background as long as it’s clean (which it is), I am a professional witness. Another words, its my job to see what happened, not run and hide to later tell someone, “oh, I think this is what happened”. Yes, my uncle did retire from that department but, I don’t know anyone there and he retired five years ago. I never called 911, no taser was ever pointed at the two suspects just guns. Hey, sorry for your loss but, when several police officers tell you at gun point to show your hands or put your hands up, you put your fu*#ing hands up! Not make it look like your trying to reach for something. Unless you have a death wish. I am very disappointed in this situation because people like the media and Mr. Contini have taken my story and fu*#ed it up. This is my message, I truly am incorruptible, my story as well as myself will not be compromised, contaminated or influenced by anyone or anything, and I am the unmovable object. I saw everything that happened that night and remember it as clear as day and remember, you probably were not there, I was. I was five feet away from Mr. Husien Shehada when he was shot twice by police, even I had my hands up. Thank you, have a good whatever and this shooting was justified.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 4:56 PM

Horrified in Miami says:

Derek- so your opinion that this was a justified shooting should be believed over a video of the incident? The video that shows this mans arms raise and maintain that position up until he was shot dead? The video that shows the supposed confrontation didn’t happen? This video shows him cooperating seconds after being confronted… How did you come to the conclusion stated?

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 5:17 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

Well, first I would like to thank you in taking an interest in my comment. What I stated is not a conclusion but what really happened. Their hands were not raised and the video is to low quality to tell. I was there, and they were not complying and using vulgar language in resistance.  I read your earlier comments and realize you have analyzed the video thoroughly. I saw the video too, except my video was direct from the security recorder on a 42’’ Lcd screen in our main office. Its a lot better quality there and the two are doing exactly as I saw. They’re not complying with the officers and Mr. Hussein reaches on his right side. The video recording is digitally recorded, to answer some questions I read in earlier comments. I’m not trying to persuade anybody in what I am saying here, just merely trying to help others better understand the truth in this extremely delicate situation. Also, I forgot to mention in my first comment about my credibility. Mr. Contini said I have an application in with the department, I currently do not have an Application in processing with the Miami-Beach Police Department. What I explained to Mr. Contini is that, when I am ready, I will be submitting applications to all law-enforcement agencies in Dade County including Miami-Beach P.D. Police departments today don’t “hook-it-up” anymore just because someone in your family works for them. So, Mr. Contini, you’re going to have to come up with a better way to discredit me. I’m like Batman, where I believe in true justice no matter who you are, cop or civilian. No one can hide from Lady Justice. I am saying what I’m saying not because I want to be a cop or trying to protect one. I’m saying what I’m saying because that’s what I saw happen.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 8:02 PM

SusieQ says:

Derek - Maybe the video you saw actually shows their heads? If so, then you could see their arms?  The one I see shows Husien enter the screen, turn when called, step toward the curb, arms go up, body bends when (obviously) shot, both arms go down to hold chest and the flys out of view. If anything is questionable.. its the location of his brothers arms. The video makes his body hard to see. Maybe your employer should have released the higher quality video!?!

Even if (as you say) they cursed at the police… Last time I checked, cursing at the police doesn’t warrant a death sentence. Let us not forget that other witnesses state the cursing and screaming came from the 7 officers surrounding them. Let us also remember that it had to be a bit alarming to be walking down the street, then in a matter of seconds be surrounded by 7 officers, screeching tires and shouting…all while looking down 7 barrels. Imagining myself in that situation, I can’t say I would have reacted and obeyed as quickly as they did! It had to have been terrifying.

Regarding your employment goals as a police officer.. I believe the fact that you are interested in employment with a department that has a well known reputation for brutality, over aggressive behavior and witness intimidation says something to many reading. On top of this, you are the only witness to date that has stated this young mans murder was justified.

Putting everything that happened prior to Adam Tavss pulling the trigger aside.. The Miami Beach PD has alarmed many with the way they have handled this situation. Justified killing or not.. the MBPD has engaged in lies, witness intimidation, and more in the sad situation. Refusing to release the 911 calls they claim came in, arresting his brother for a crime he didn’t commit, insinuating these men were menacing criminals (when all facts to date prove otherwise). What about searching their hotel room first, then asking permission?  What about putting Samer in a car headed to the hospital, then turning around and heading back to the station? Why was it necessary to ask about their heritage and language? I’ve heard Samer on the news.. He doesn’t even have a slight accent. No way they he’d need an interpreter! They are looking for some way to point the blame at the victim… maybe insinuating “terrorist ties”?

And worst of all, how is it this officer was allowed back on the street in a few short days? Yes, maybe the “minimum” is 72 hours off… but how can the department conclude he’s not at fault while the investigation supposedly continues? After all.. thats the reason they’re using for not being able to release any evidence?!

If you truly believe in Justice, you should consider employment outside the Miami Beach Police Department!

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 8:49 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Derek,

Thank you for your comments.

Samer said he saw seven officers. How many did you see?

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 8:53 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

First, Carlos, seven officers is right, Samer is correct. Second, SusieQ, I am unaware of the DVD burning process as I have never done that before and that is not my job at Twist Nightclub. At no point in time did either individual have their hands up, since it’s a digital copy, maybe you’re watching a digitally altered version. Check your sources or your eyes; I’m not trying to insult you in anyway. They didn’t get shot for cursing but, the cursing didn’t help, they got shot for reaching after being labeled by dispatch and 911 calls as being “Armed and Dangerous”. I am not interested in just this department as a police officer but all departments in Dade County. In today’s competitive job market, that helps your odds of getting hired. Officers are not given time off after a shooting for the investigation but for psychological relief, that’s per each departments “Policy and Procedures”. Besides, the second shooting has no connection or relevance to the first.  I don’t know anything of the hotel seizures nor do I have any comments on that situation. And for Mr. Samer and his self-inflicted wounds, Paramedics arrived on scene and treated him at the station. I know this because it happened while I was waiting to take my statement; I witness that whole incident too. What a long night, supposed to be off by 5am, didn’t get done until 12noon, they did treat myself and the other witness to Einstein Bro’s Bagels and coffee. J I never saw and interpreter but I did see Mr. Samer in person at the station asking a police officer how his brother was doing, he was un-cuffed and walked freely from the interrogation room down the hall to the office I was in to ask that question. He spoke very well in English. Personally, I thought they were Hispanic until I heard about it the next day on the news. Seriously, at 4 in the morning, you can’t tell the difference.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 9:34 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

your welcome carlos, thank you in you quest for the truth.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 9:38 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Derek,

So the video you are talking about is the same video we have seen, only higher quality?

And when you say the Shehada brothers cursed at the cops, what did they say?

(not that it would justify shooting them because profanity is considered protected speech)


And you heard two shots? I was told there were three shots.

You confirm there were seven cops. You also state they were pointing guns, not Tasers.

Why did only one officer shoot?

If he Husien reaching for something and you saw Husien reaching for something and the higher-quality video shows Husien reaching for something, then why didn’t the other six officers fire their guns?

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 9:53 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

Carlos,

Yeah, the video quality is better but, still not the greatest.

Just some stuff like “what the fu*# you want”, “fu*# you”.
No it doesn’t justify the shooting but it doesn’t easy the tension either.
The cops cursed too though, after trying not cursing.
They went from “show me your hands” and “put your hands up” to “show me your fu*#ing hands” and “put your fu*#ing hands up”.

There were only two shots.

They were pointing guns only.

I’m guessing only one officer shot because of all the training they go through, so it’s not labeled as “overkill”, to listen and look for first shots fired. Remember, they are professional police officers, not some firing squad. This isn’t the movies, its real life where cops are trained and professional.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 10:16 PM

Carlos Miller says:

I was under the impression that officers are trained to kill when they see a threat, not just depend on one officer to make the kill.

After all, guns get jammed, they misfire, aim is not always perfect. Why take a chance if the suspect has a gun?

Officers are trained to stop the threat. They are trained to shoot the suspect in the chest. They are trained to continue shooting until the suspect or threat is immobile. Or dead.

In that split second that a suspect appears to be pulling out a gun, there is no time to decide who is going to be the shooting officer.

No, they all shoot.

That is, if there really was a threat.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 11:21 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

Cops are trained to kill in those situations. I can’t really explain that Carlos. Like I said earlier, “I am guessing….” Guessing was the key word. I would like to give you an answer. I’m glad they all didn’t shoot because I was in some of the officer’s line of fire. I’m sorry I can’t answer your question. If you find the answer, I would like to know as well.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 11:38 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Thanks for your responses, Derek.

This has been very interesting. Interviewing a witness to a police shooting on a live forum.

I don’t think I’ve done that before.

It’s good that people are able to see your unedited and uncensored comments.

Posted on 06/29/2009 at 11:47 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

One of the benifits of living in America.

Yeah I think this is the last time I’m going to say anything about too cuz,i get asked everyday about it, then when i give them an answer, i’m always wrong, they weren’t there and they know everything.lol. i figure if i did some sort of interview on here, people would leave me alone about it. i’ll answer more questions on this site but thats it until the trial, if there is one. I dont think Mr. Contini has much of a case, which is why he lied about my background to try and discredit my statement. Cant imagine him doing that infront of a judge under oath.

Posted on 06/30/2009 at 12:24 AM

Nova says:

So.. let’s review…

1. Derek says “I explained to Mr. Contini is that, when I am ready, I will be submitting applications to all law-enforcement agencies in Dade County including Miami-Beach P.D.” Then follows up saying “I am not interested in just this department as a police officer but all departments in Dade County. In today’s competitive job market, that helps your odds of getting hired.”

Question… the first statement expresses interest, not action. The second statement sounds as though you are actively seeking a position in a “competitive job market”

2. Derek says “Police departments today don’t “hook-it-up” anymore just because someone in your family works for them.”

Question… Police departments may not “hook it up” anymore… Would it be a far reach to assume that testifying against an officer’s actions could hurt your chances of getting hired by his department or others?

3. This article and others have said “One of the people who supposedly called 911 is Derek Reynolds, a doorman at Twist. ” But Derek says “I never called 911”

Question… Just to confirm, the statements out there that you placed a call to the police are untrue?

4. Derek says he “saw the video too, except my video was direct from the security recorder on a 42’’ Lcd screen in our main office. Its a lot better quality there and the two are doing exactly as I saw.” Then goes on to say “since it’s a digital copy, maybe you’re watching a digitally altered version.”

Question.. So the video you saw was the same shot, just better quality? After reading your comments, I watched it on my 42” screen at home. I saw the same thing I saw on the computer. Arms are raised. My understanding is that the video seen here is the video released by Twist nightclub. Not sure why anyone would alter it to make it harder to view what happened… unless they had something to gain.

Derek says “Officers are not given time off after a shooting for the investigation but for psychological relief, that’s per each departments “Policy and Procedures”.”

Question… An unarmed man was shot. Your stance is that the police do not have to investigate the officers actions in a situation where a an unarmed civilian is killed? The relevance of the second shooting is not with what occurred with the second victim. The relevance is the common denominator, Officer Adam Tavss.

Derek says… “And for Mr. Samer and his self-inflicted wounds, Paramedics arrived on scene and treated him at the station. I know this because it happened while I was waiting to take my statement; I witness that whole incident too.” Then continues “I never saw and interpreter but I did see Mr. Samer in person at the station asking a police officer how his brother was doing, he was un-cuffed and walked freely from the interrogation room down the hall to the office I was in to ask that question.”

Question…
1. You saw Samer walking around freely un-cuffed? One of the two men they’ve maintained were violent menaces, arrested for battery had free reign to roam the halls of the police station amongst witnesses and others?
2. You said you heard/saw him inquire about his brothers condition. Did you witness the police officers earlier responses to the same question?
3. My understanding was that Samer was in an interrogation room when he overheard Husiens girlfriend crying that he was dead. Upon hearing this (after being told for hours his brother was going to be fine) He became understandably upset and punched the glass in the room. Were you in the interrogation room with Samer?
4. Paramedics arrived at the scene to treat Samer? Was this before or after he was put in a car headed to the hospital that eventually turned around?

Posted on 06/30/2009 at 9:34 AM

Derek Reynolds says:

Nova,

1. Getting a job in today’s law enforcement field is very competitive. There are tons of people applying with different resumes. Some have degrees and some don’t. Some used to be cops and some never were. With all these different variables, an applicant’s best chance is to submit applications to all departments even if they are not hiring like Miami-Beach P.D. I am interested in whatever department shows an interest back at me.

2. Absolutely not, I hope. I don’t see how the could hold a bias against you just because you spoke the truth under oath. Actually, I think it would better your chances maybe. I say this because; police dept’s try to hire truthful individuals of good moral character.

3. Yes they are untrue. Why would I call 911 if the police were already there? Lol. By the time I had anything to do with this incident, the two guys were walking in front of my club and the police approaching them at gunpoint. After the guy got shot, police called for rescue. No reason for me to even pick-up my phone.

4. I don’t know if it works that way Nova. In the office, the quality still sucks but it is better than that on youtube.

5. Of coarse the department is investigating the entire incident, even internal affairs is in on this one. Time off really has nothing to do with the investigation, unless he did something unlawful. I think it’s just a coincidence that Tavvs was involved in both shootings.

6. A. He wasn’t allowed to walk around. Lol. When he came out of the room to ask that question, they escorted him back to his room and locked it. I was just trying to make a point that the police never violated his civil rights. 
B. I never heard any of the officer’s replies to Samer. Mr. Hussein looked DOA to me after the shooting.
C. No, I was not in the room with him. I was in the next room about 20-30 feet away. A little to close for comfort after I heard that window shatter.
D. I don’t think they ever put him in the car. Why would they put him in the car and not in the ambulance when they were already there? I wasn’t with Samer the whole time, so maybe they did after I left. As far as I know, while I was there, he stayed there and was treated there.

Posted on 06/30/2009 at 4:55 PM

Nova says:

@Derek: Please forgive me in advance, but I’m a bit confused. I’m simply trying to understand what happened as I find the whole situation alarming.

I must have misunderstood the statement below? I read this as you had decided this was something you wanted to do.. but haven’t actively pursued (i.e. applied for a position). With this, you implied that Mr. Contini’s statements regarding your attempt to gain employment with MBPD were not true.

Derek says… “Mr. Contini said I have an application in with the department, I currently do not have an Application in processing with the Miami-Beach Police Department. What I explained to Mr. Contini is that, when I am ready, I will be submitting applications to all law-enforcement agencies in Dade County including Miami-Beach P.D..”

However, your next statement below indicates you have actually applied, but they weren’t hiring. So, how is Mr. Contini incorrect in his statement if you have applied for a position with the MBPD?

Derek says… “Getting a job in today’s law enforcement field is very competitive. There are tons of people applying with different resumes. Some have degrees and some don’t. Some used to be cops and some never were. With all these different variables, an applicant’s best chance is to submit applications to all departments even if they are not hiring like Miami-Beach P.D. I am interested in whatever department shows an interest back at me.”

Regarding your reply below… In my opinion it is evident that yes, this would hurt your chances. A department that chases witnesses away doesn’t sound like one that would take your testimony against them kindly. Seems like common sense to me… the thin blue line isn’t a wives tale after all.  http://garyploski.com/police-intimidation

Derek says… “Absolutely not, I hope. I don’t see how the could hold a bias against you just because you spoke the truth under oath. Actually, I think it would better your chances maybe. I say this because; police dept’s try to hire truthful individuals of good moral character.”

I have to admit, I am pretty shocked by your answer below! Is it not against the law to shoot an unarmed man? Cop or not! If a civilian was in this officers shoes, would he not be investigated at the very least? Why is this officer above an investigation? Shouldn’t those in charge of public safely show some concern with this officers actions? Wouldn’t they want to ensure an officer involved in a situation like this truly did nothing wrong and isn’t a danger to the public? Should our police officers be in a position where the are not required to abide by the same laws in which they are paid to enforce?

Derek says… “Of coarse the department is investigating the entire incident, even internal affairs is in on this one. Time off really has nothing to do with the investigation, unless he did something unlawful. I think it’s just a coincidence that Tavvs was involved in both shootings.”

Yesterday, you made the statement below. You implied that Samer had free roam of the station (un-cuffed, walking freely)....

Derek says… “And for Mr. Samer and his self-inflicted wounds, Paramedics arrived on scene and treated him at the station. I know this because it happened while I was waiting to take my statement; I witness that whole incident too.” Then continues “I never saw and interpreter but I did see Mr. Samer in person at the station asking a police officer how his brother was doing, he was un-cuffed and walked freely from the interrogation room down the hall to the office I was in to ask that question.”

However, your response today seems to contradict the earlier statement. Maybe it’s just me… but I don’t consider a police escort and being locked in a room “free”.

Derek says… “He wasn’t allowed to walk around. Lol. When he came out of the room to ask that question, they escorted him back to his room and locked it. I was just trying to make a point that the police never violated his civil rights.”

Yesterday you said you witnessed the whole incident. Today you said you heard it?

Monday: Derek says…“I know this because it happened while I was waiting to take my statement; I witness that whole incident too.”

Tuesday: Derek says…“No, I was not in the room with him. I was in the next room about 20-30 feet away. A little to close for comfort after I heard that window shatter.

Posted on 06/30/2009 at 6:49 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

Nova,

First thing, I have to admit, you are pretty persistent. Almost like a reporter or investigator. I just hope your not about to start harassing my statement. I do want you to know, I saw what I saw and I will answer your questions you have submitted earlier. If I sense that you are, then I will have no choice but to cease my activities on this site. These answers that I am giving is for the public, not some private source with a bias agenda. So, don’t ruin it for everyone else. If not, all is well and this message will be for anyone else who might fit that category.

At the present time, I do NOT have any applications turned in with any departments. There are some preliminary tests, which must first be achieved before doing so. I am in that process right now.

I never said shooting an unarmed man wasn’t unlawful. In this situation, the police found out the man was unarmed after the shooting. Before the shooting, it looked like he was reaching for something. I saw him reaching, so did the police and that’s why he’s dead.

Samer, who was uncuffed at the time, walked out of the interrogation room unsupervised. Walked 10 or so feet to the next room, where I was with a police officer. Asked about his brothers conditioned and was asked by another police officer to return to his room. I hope that draws a better picture for you.

I heard the whole interrogation room incident happen and saw all the cops rush into that room to try to stop him. I also saw rescue arrive and walk to samer’s location to administer first aid.

Posted on 06/30/2009 at 11:19 PM

Nova says:

@Derek -

I appreciate your feedback and willingness to share your take on the situation! Not at all trying “harass your statement”. Just pointing out contradictory statements in the hopes of locating a solid, clear answer.

No bias agenda, definitely not a reporter or investigator. I began following this story after reading the very first article on Miami Herald. This article, stated police shot an armed man outside twist. While I attempting to comment on the article, it disappeared. It vanished all together from the website. This peaked my interest and I began watching for updates on the story. Over the next few days more and more details emerged. In reading all of the stories and comments as well as watching both videos released, I grew more and more concerned that something was amiss. I found myself with many questions.

I think it’s easy to forget, this is not entertainment, something to read to break up the monotony of the day. This is someones baby… this is a human being. Not just a story on the 5 o’clock news. A man’s chance to live…to get married, have children, or simply feel the wind on his face was stolen from him.

Years ago, I experienced the loss of a loved one at the hands of another. While the situation was very different, I can empathize with this family’s heartache. I imagine, as most people who lose a loved one do… they need to know how this could have happened.  Instead of answers, this family in all of their grief had to defend Husiens character amid accusations of criminal behavior and responsibility for his own death. I find that to be tremendously offensive! The MBPD placing fault on the victim is the equivalent of blaming any other victim for being victimized. It’s the same as blaming a rape victim for her choice in attire.

When a person loses their life to a violent act, they leave behind living victims. In this case a widowed mother, brother, sisters, cousins and friends must live with this loss every day. Their lives will be forever altered in a way many could never understand. The greatest of all pains has been inflicted on them. So, yes I am persistent… I think they deserve that much!

Posted on 07/01/2009 at 12:28 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Derek,

I’ve been trying to place myself in your position on the night of the shooting.

In the video, the shooting occurs five seconds after the two men turn around.

You’ve stated that you had your hands up.

You were also careful to note that none of the officers was carrying a Taser.

Had I been in your position, I would probably be pretty alarmed about the tense situation.

And I would also raise my arms because I wouldn’t want to give police any excuse to shoot.

I would also have my eyes trained on the officers. They are the ones in control.

I would be sure to be making eye contact with them to ensure that I am not some murderous freak.

Five seconds is not a long time. It’s taken me much more than that to write what I’ve written so far. And probably longer than five seconds for you to read what I’ve written so far.

But according to your observations, five seconds was enough for the Shehada brothers to curse at the cops. And it was enough for the cops to curse back.

But my question is, was it enough for you to notice that Husien reached for his right side?

If seven cops had their guns pointed, wouldn’t you be looking at them and not at Shehada?

Remember, these are the guys in control. Not Shehada.

I know I would not peel my eyes off those cops or those guns because I would be scared (even though I would probably be dying to take a photo).

If I were in that situation, I wouldn’t look at Shehada until after the gun was fired. But by then, it would be too late for me to determine whether he had reached for something or not.

You’re saying that even though you had your hands up, you were looking at the Shehada brothers in the seconds before the shooting?

Posted on 07/01/2009 at 6:48 PM

Derek Reynolds says:

Nova,

I can understand your empathy. I think it’s terrible to lose a family member so young as well. Unfortunately in this case, you can’t blame anyone but the deceased. You’re right, this isn’t some movie, it’s real life and in real life, people die everyday. I think the family deserves to know the truth as well. It’s also unfortunate that the real truth is not what the family would expect. There’s nothing anybody could say or do to ease their suffering.

Carlos,

As I had my hands up, before the brothers past me, my attention was on the cops, yes.
As soon as the brothers past me and I noticed the cops were aiming at them, my attention turned to the brothers to see what they would do and I started to slowly lower my arms. By the time my arms were half way down is when Hussein had reached and then officer Tavvs open fired. By that time I was also out of the line of fire. You are right though; it was a pretty tense or adrenaline-rushing situation. It took like 4 hours for my adrenaline to ware off for I have never seen something like that before.

Posted on 07/01/2009 at 8:20 PM

Horrified in Miami says:

Carlos… They released the 911 tapes today? Why aren’t the tapes contents available to read or listen to? This conference obviously wasn’t held to discuss this case. This was another smear campaign by the MBPD. Throw out a few scary descriptions of the victims and convince the public they are safer with these men gone!? I dont see these men exhibiting ‘‘abusive, violent, non-compliant and criminal’’ behavior on this video or the other showing the killing of Shehada. I keep hearing about a bottle and a coat hanger being concealed.. but if either was found on the men… wouldn’t the Chief have said so? Instead he says “investigators believe the men armed themselves with a large wooden coat hanger and a bottle. Another statement to lead the public in the wrong direction with carefully chosen words. AND TO TOP IT ALL we find out that NEITHER victim had a gun?! Didn’t the MBPD accuse the McCoy family of lying when stating the officers told them their son was not found to have a weapon?! So Tavss killed TWO unarmed men in a week!

Posted on 07/02/2009 at 6:53 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Here is the update which includes the 911 tapes. It would be interesting to hear the radio chatter after the shootings.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Police-release-details-911-tapes-and-additional-video-in-beach-shootings.html

Posted on 07/03/2009 at 3:09 AM

Joe Marchione says:

I have been reading the comments made in reference to the “one bad apple” analogy.  I would like to go on record in saying that the Miami Police Department has to be one of the most CORRUPT entities conceivable. 

i have a similar story to this one.  The main difference, as I am sure you can imagine is that I lived to tell my story. 

A few years back, i was in an apartment.  the Police knocked on the door, forced their way in , and after deciding I was not giving them answers they wanted to hear, arrested me. 

In this process, one of the officers, Officer Holdbrook of the Miami Police department, decided that while I was handcuffed, he was entitled to smash me in the back of the skull.  To give you an idea of the force he used.  In an MRI 5 months later, my brain was still swollen up.

I sympathize for this family, and can honestly say I understand what they are going through.  I almost died, and was told the vegetative state I was in had a 50% chance of being permanent.

I bring this up because, aside from the pain I endured (which was almost unbearable… for MONTHS); when I went to file an IA report, with 4 witnesses, a polygraph, and the Officers having NO evidence against me.  The case was lost, then the OFFICER was found not to have enough evidence to warrant actions taken against him. 

We are letting MANIACS with GUNS loose in our cities! Someone and something needs to be done about these heinous acts these people are allowed to commit.  The rest of us call them crimes, Miami PD calls them acceptable.

My last note is simply to comment on how this is not even isolated to the PD.  The bondsman that called my parents in the middle of he night, in NEW YORK demanding 5k, the attorney who charged 10k, and was a GENERAL practice attorney, not even a criminal defense attorney(AND lost ALL the evidence implicating the officers).  The IA department who ignored the report, and closed the case.  The Officer who said ” if you don’t have it videotaped.. you don’t have a chance”.

All these factors make for a very scary world.  I can only hope something changes, so that one day the Police protect us, not hunt us, as it is now.

Joe Marchione
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
315-289-5060
ps if anyone can use any of the above info to try and better our system.  I have hard copies of each and every claim in my letter.  Please feel free to contact me, and i would be more than happy to get them forwarded to you.

Posted on 07/05/2009 at 12:22 AM

nick says:

hey joe,

dont like cops?
next time your in trouble,
call a crack-head!

Posted on 07/05/2009 at 6:48 PM

Joe Marchione says:

Thanks for the advice.  I think I will, could not be ANY worse than what that officer did to me.  One final note for you.  Love Cops so much, just like you to know; since I lost my house and my job during this, i ended up out on disability.  And so YOU know, that cops actions now costs YOU (or all taxpayers) over $5,000 a month for the medications I am now on because of the brain damage.

Now i am going to take a wild guess.  Are you one of those people that constantly complains about your taxes?  Because if you are, remember he is the sole reason for my injury.

Lastly, before you hate me for wanting bad cops off the street.  I would like you to know one more thing.  I was more or less ‘assured’ I could get about a 2 million settlement.  I CHOOSE to take the Internal AFFAIRS ROUTE.  I was only seeking justice, not a quick buck.  So before you look down upon me, remember there are MANY factors, you might want to consider that before jumping to a conclusion.

Posted on 07/05/2009 at 9:15 PM

Carlos Miller says:

“The Officer who said ’ if you don’t have it videotaped.. you don’t have a chance’. “

This is exactly why I’ve been fighting for the right to photograph cops for two years.

You would think that if they have nothing to hide, then they wouldn’t mind.

Posted on 07/05/2009 at 9:23 PM

Joe Marchione says:

in addition to that, most cop cars have cams in them, only randomly used… it would not be very hard to video EVERYTHING, and erase it after a time period. 

I would like to add in m case, I tried to record it on my phone(I did not have a photo-phone), but before I could I was in handcuffs.. So that was not possible.

To give you an idea of powerlessness.  I even managed to wrangle my hands and dial 911.  Only to find out cop cars block ALL cell phone signals.  SO, you are stuck, handcuffed, unable to get help, and stuck in a car with a guy with a gun, and 5 other officers who will do nothing to aid someone being mistreated by an officer (their code of honor… NEVER UNDERMINE ANOTHER COP!

Posted on 07/06/2009 at 1:38 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Today, the New York Times wrote about this. The NYT reporter believes Husien Shehada had his hands up when he was shot.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/us/12miami.html?hpw

I also wrote a story today about newly surfaced audio clips recorded by Samer Shehada’s cell phone in the moments after the shooting.

It’s worth checking out.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/We-Didnt-Find-Anything.html

Posted on 07/11/2009 at 11:43 PM

miss_priss37 says:

Here’s an update to this story.  The truth, not the garbage spewed out by the family’s sleaze bag attorney, is starting to come out…

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1183414.html?storylink=pd

Posted on 08/13/2009 at 12:52 PM

Seattle says:

They are Muslims? Beating your girlfriends in public and clubbing over Ramadan is good Muslim behavior? If they were good boys none of this would have happened, like all thugs deserve they found the trouble they were after.

Posted on 09/16/2009 at 12:07 PM

Miami Fury says:

Sounds like this Dirtbag cop, Adam Tavss loves his drugs! Makes me wonder where this scumbag was getting his supply? Funny that he was working desk duty in the property room when he caught the attention of Internal Affairs?!? Apparently Miami Beach Cops can kill all they want… as long as they share their stash!

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4)
Officer Involved In 2 Shootings Failed Drug Test
Officer Tavss Was Relieved Of Duty With Pay In Mid-September
Police Stressed It Was Not Due To His Involvement In The June Shootingshas confirmed that a Miami Beach police officer involved in two police shootings in June and later suspended with pay on an unrelated matter, was relieved of duty after he tested positive for marijuana, according to a CBS4 News source and the officer’s attorney.

Officer Adam Tavss attorney Gene Gibbons and a CBS4 News source both say that when Tavss was “relieved of duty” earlier this month, it was because he failed a marijuana drug test.

Officer Adam Tavss was “relieved of duty with pay” on Monday, September 14th, for an “internal personnel matter that is currently under investigation,” according to a Miami Beach police release.

The release also stated, “The matter in question is unrelated to the two police shootings that Officer Tavss was involved with earlier this year.”

The first shooting Tavss was involved in took place June 14th when Husein Shehada, a tourist from Virginia was shot and killed outside Twist nightclub on Washington Avenue. Police responded to 911 calls about an armed man outside the nightclub. When Shehada and his brother were confronted by police and stopped, Husein failed to respond to officers’ commands, according to police. Husein was fatally shot by Officer Adam Tavss, a three-year employee. according to police. It turned out that Shehada was not armed with a gun, only a glass bottle.

Just four days later on the MacArthur Causeway, Tavss was involved in the shooting death of Lawrence McCoy, an alleged robber who carjacked a taxicab and then crashed head-on with another car on the causeway.

McCoy, according to police, came out of the cab with a gun and began firing at police officers who returned fire. Police say the gun battle continued as McCoy ran down the causeway before finally being killed at the base of the bridge leading to Miami Beach near the Coast Guard station.

Between 20 and 40 shots were fired, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Officers fished a pistol out of Biscayne Bay two days after the shooting, a gun McCoy may have ditched before being shot.

The State Attorney’s Office is still investigating the two shootings.

Posted on 09/30/2009 at 2:00 PM

More Dumb asses says:

52.Joe Marchione

You are full of shit, you have never been in a mbpd car, they don’t have cell blockers

Posted on 12/05/2009 at 4:49 AM

joe marchione says:

never knew they did either, but slso never thought I would be in a situation o find this out,  But I assure you, what I say happened, did happen.  I don’t know if was a cell blocker per-say; or just interference from their equipment.  All I can say for sure was that my cell said “no network”, it was an ATT cell, and I xould not make a call Even 911.

Posted on 12/06/2009 at 9:08 AM

Rick says:

Take a look at the 13 second frame. If his arms were down they would be easy to see moving up toward his stomach. Instead what we can see is his arms appear from above. Looks pretty cut and dried to me.

Posted on 05/28/2010 at 2:05 PM

Calladus says:

Well, we now know just how much we can trust the cop who shot Husien.  I’m sure he is an upstanding law-abiding citizen and a great police officer.  That marijuana growing just happened by “accident”, I’m sure.

Credibility fail

http://cbs4.com/local/adam.Tavss.marijuana.2.1713387.html

Posted on 05/28/2010 at 4:49 PM

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