One of those customers, 28-year-old Earl Sampson, has been detained by police 258 times in four years and arrested 62 times for trespassing. Nearly every citation was issued at the 207 Quickstop — where he works.
Even the store’s owner was confused by the situation, so he installed security cameras to record his store. The owner, Alex Saleh, was shocked by what he saw, and filed an internal affairs complaint about the arrests.
“I just kept thinking police can’t do this,” Saleh told the Miami Herald.
Sampson and the other customers and employees are the casualties of a “zero tolerance” policy on crime in Miami Gardens, a struggling city where the population is 76% black and nearly 20% of residents live in poverty.
That policy is based on the “broken windows” theory of crime, which proposes that cities can reduce serious crimes by cracking down on petty crimes like vandalism and trespassing. (There’s some debate about whether “broken windows” really works, though.)
In Miami Gardens, where citizens haven’t had a great relationship with the police for years, the “zero tolerance” policy seems to be only making things worse, former police officer and consultant Chuck Drago told The Herald.
“The real problem here,” Drago said, “is the police department does not have a relationship with its community — black or white. When they make these kinds of stops for minor offenses, it only re-enforces the mistrust.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/v-fullstory/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html#storylink=cpy
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