The state of Florida will not charge 12 Miami police officers who gunned down a fleeing suspect and injured four bystanders, reported Reuters.
The incident occurred in the South Beach area of Miami, Florida over Memorial Day weekend in 2011. While attempting to apprehend a suspect, the dozen officers opened fire in a crowded area. The suspect, 22-year-old Raymond Herisse, was fleeing officers in his car until he crashed into several parked cars.
Police surrounded the car and fired approximately 130 shots, hitting him 16 times. The officers’ bullets also struck four innocent bystanders. The Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office released a statement late Tuesday stating that the officers were cleared of charges.
“All of the officers were justified in the discharge of their firearms,” said the statement.
Upon searching Herisse’s car, officers found a semi-automatic handgun. Later examination proved that the suspect never fired at police, despite being brutally gunned down himself. The incident prompted lawsuits against the department, as well as some policy changes, one of which specifically bans police from shooting their guns at moving cars.
This situation is more than multiple police gunning down a single man. These officers injured four other people who were unrelated to the incident. That should be enough cause to have these officers indicted for their reckless behavior.
While the officers were found to have discharged their weapons legally, their reckless behavior resulted in the injury of innocent bystanders. In determining that the officers were justified in killing that single man, it seems that the suffering of the four bystanders has been forgotten.