Florida police accused of racial profiling after stopping man 258 times, charging him with trespassing at work

I sure hope he wins a tidy amount! Jailed 56 times for walking while black? A bit much I say.

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In the last four  years Earl Sampson, 28, has been questioned by police 258 times, searched more  than 100 times, jailed 56 times, and arrested for trespassing 62 times. The  majority of these citations occurred at his place of work, a Miami Gardens  convenience store where the owner says police are racially profiling.

  By      / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Earl Sampson, 28,speaks at the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store he works at in Miami Gardens, Florida. Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years, searched more than 100 times, and arrested and jailed 56 times at the store for no reason.

CBS Miami

Earl Sampson, 28, has been stopped by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four  years, searched more than 100 times, and jailed 56 times at the store where he  works for no reason.

A Florida police department is facing racial profiling charges after  stopping a man 258 times and repeatedly charging him with trespassing at the  convenience store where he works.

At least once a week for the last four years, Earl Sampson, 28, has been  stopped by Miami Gardens police —  and searched more than 100 times, jailed  56 times and arrested for trespassing 62 times, records show.

The only conviction he’s had, according to his lengthy records, is for  marijuana possession.

“They created this record,” Sampson’s boss and the owner of 207 Quickstop,  Alex Saleh, told the Daily News Friday. “He’s a good guy, a humble guy, a quiet  guy. He’s not a convicted felon.”

Store surveillance video since set up by the owner of the Miami Gardens convenience store shows Sampson being stopped by police after simply exiting the store.

Courtesy Alex Saleh/CBS Miami

Store surveillance video since set up  by the owner of the Miami Gardens convenience store shows Sampson being stopped  by police after simply exiting the store.

Saleh plans to present a civil rights suit against the city’s police  department and mayor next week after he installed security cameras to monitor  the police’s activity in and outside his store.

The resulting footage since obtained by the Miami Herald is described by Saleh as beyond  legal but disturbing as well.

During one of Sampson’s arrests — Sampson being just one of Saleh’s alleged  employees and customers subjected to police harassment — he’s seen refilling a  cooler inside the store when an officer walks up beside him.

The only conviction Sampson has had, according to his lengthy records, is for marijuana possession. His boss describes him as 'a good guy, a humble guy, a quiet guy. He's not a convicted felon.'

arrestfiles.org

The only conviction Sampson has had,  according to his lengthy records, is for marijuana possession. His boss  describes him as ‘a good guy, a humble guy, a quiet guy. He’s not a convicted  felon.’

“They ask him, ‘What are you doing here?'” recalled Saleh. “He said, ‘I work  here.’ The clerk said he works here. I said, ‘I’m the owner, let him go. I work  here.’ The officer said, ‘Yeah right.’

“So he has more power than me!”

According to Saleh, it doesn’t stop there.

In addition to video appearing to show Sampson being grabbed by an officer  while taking out the trash and at another time searched against a wall, Saleh  accuses them of searching throughout his store without a warrant.

Store owner Alex Saleh set up cameras after believing that police were unlawfully harassing his employees and customers. On the footage captured, he says police are seen illegally searching his store.

Courtesy Alex Saleh/CBS Miami

Store owner Alex Saleh set up cameras  after believing that police were unlawfully harassing his employees and  customers. On the footage captured, he says police are seen illegally searching  his store.

“One officer asked me, ‘Can I use the restroom?'” he said of one incident  allegedly caught on camera. “He opened the restroom door … he decided to go  walk in coolers to commit a search.”

After seeing the footage Saleh said he contacted the police and was told that  there was no search warrant issued for his business’s location.

The police allegedly told him, “‘Oh, we’ll open an investigation.’ It’s been  15 months!”

In one instance Sampson is seen restocking a cooler inside the store when a police accuses him of trespassing. The store owner claims the officer was told that Sampson works there but didn't care.

Courtesy Alex Saleh/CBS Miami

In one instance Sampson is seen  restocking a cooler inside the store when a police accuses him of trespassing.  The store owner claims the officer was told that Sampson works there but didn’t  care.

Another video appears to show an officer snooping behind the cash register  area. The unidentified officer is seen taking one knee to flip through some  papers.

Saleh says the police aren’t just a problem at his store, but to the entire  community as well.

“Not only to the (other) stores but the people in the community have been  having a problem with the police,” he said.

He blames it on there being no relationship between the police and community  amid a city drenched in high crime.

Saleh, pictured, plans to present a civil rights suit against the city's police department and mayor next week.

CBS Miami

Saleh, pictured, plans to present a  civil rights suit against the city’s police department and mayor next week.

He also blames it on a “zero-tolerance” program enacted by the police  department. The program allows officers to arrest anyone for trespassing if seen  on a property that is closed and the owner is not there, said Saleh.

The business owner signed up for it, but now calls that a regret.

“It is illegal. They created a policy that’s illegal,” he said.

He claims that most of the trespassing arrests made at his store since are  when his store is open and when he’s there.

“They’re just stopping anybody who walks in the city or who comes into my  store,” argued Saleh. “You can’t violate people’s rights just by standing in  front of a business. You have no right to pull me against the wall and search me  and question me for no reason.”

Messages left with the Miami Gardens Police Department, including Chief  Matthew Boyd and Deputy Chief of Police Paul Miller, were not immediately  returned to the Daily News.

In a statement released to the Miami Herald, Boyd said “the department is  committed to serving and protecting the citizens and businesses in the  city.”

Culled from nydailynews.com

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