Over a four-year period, a Florida man has been stopped by Miami Gardens police 258 times, searched 100 times, and jailed 56 times, even though his most serious conviction is for having marijuana. Earl Sampson has been arrested 62 times for trespassing, nearly always at the 207 Quickstop convenience store—where he works. And he's not the only one: His fellow employees and customers at the shop are regularly stopped by police, to the consternation of owner Alex Saleh, who had security cameras installed for protection... against the cops, the Miami Herald reports.
Most of the people who work in or shop at the store, including Sampson, are low-income African-Americans. About three years ago, Saleh agreed to participate in a "zero-tolerance" program, in which police try to eliminate small crimes to expose more serious criminals. That's when police started hassling customers and arresting workers during shifts, he says. The videos reveal startling police behavior: In one, they arrest Sampson while he's stocking coolers; in that instance, he went to prison for trespassing, with an arrest report saying he was he was loitering outside. "Nobody can justify overstepping the constitution to fight crime," says a former cop. Click for the Herald's full investigation.