Early on Memorial Day, Narces Benoit, 35, witnessed something in Miami Beach that no one should have to see: a fatal shooting by police. He then was arrested for recording the incident.
He had been driving when he saw the police involved in an altercation, and pulled out his cellphone to record the event. Then the shooting took place, and he says an officer noticed what he was doing.
Benoit told a reporter, “When he noticed me recording, one of the officers jumped in the truck, put a pistol to my head. My phone was smashed—he stepped on it, handcuffed me."
Benoit’s recording of the shooting survived because he took out the memory card and hid it before the cellphone was destroyed.
A Miami Beach Police Department detective, Juan Sanchez, would not comment on how police officers performed that night in handling eyewitnesses. The matter is under review and may become the focus of an internal police investigation or a civil lawsuit, berhaps by Benoit for his treatment by the officers.
Ericka Davis, Benoit’s girlfriend, was with him when the police responded to his filming. "They handled us like we were criminals," she said. “The officer came over to the driver's side, on my left, and just put the gun to my head."
(Photos: REUTERS/Carlos Barria /Landov)