The post below was sent to CopBlock.org via the submission tab and is your standard case of police harassment. I probably wouldn’t have posted this story, because it’s nearly three years old, but there’s a pattern exposed by this submission. Two of the officers listed here have been blogged about on CopBlock.org before.
It seems there’s a pattern evolving within the Aventura (FL) police department and that for the past few years Officers Campbell, Craig (in previous story) and Maestri are often heavy handed or vicious while conducting their duties. According to this anonymous submitter:
02/19/2013 – I was arrested in Aventura, Florida by the City of Aventura Police Department. Upon making the arrest one of the officers involved took me to the rear of his patrol car, laid me down on the trunk, and began caving in my upper back around the shoulders while I was handcuffed. I was totally compliant and cooperative during the arrest having followed the officer’s instructions throughout. After the case went to court and the charges were dropped; no prosequi (trespassing, prowling, resisting arrest without violence), I filed an internal complaint with the City of Aventura Police Department. A couple of weeks after filing my complaint, I received a letter from Aventura PD internal affairs division, advising me that the allegation was fully investigated and dismissed as unfounded.
The officer had stated in the investigation, that I was not cooperative during the arrest, refused to provide ID, and refused to get into the patrol car voluntarily, thus the necessity for force to get me into the car. Five other officers, as well as a private security guard, that responded to the incident, submitted affidavits to the investigation. Some stated they observed no use of force, some stated the use of force they observed was appropriate for the situation.
Two of the officers involved in this incident (Hans Maestri and John Campbell) were also reported as being involved in a similar incident that was also reported on CopBlock.org under the title “Improper Treatment by Aventura Police Department”, which occurred on May 10, 2014 and was posted August 3, 2014.
– Name withheld for safety
You’d think an internal investigation would lead an officer, or officers, to correct their behavior. Maybe they’d walk on eggshells for a bit and try to not to draw attention to themselves. Yet, that wasn’t the case with these officers. The story above happened on February 2013 and the previous submission (below) was in May 2013.
This means that three months after being investigated for heavy excessive force and wrongful arrest some of these officers, particularly Campbell, were right back at it. From the post titled, “Improper Treatment by Aventura Police Department”:
I was then taken by Officer Campbell towards his squad car which was now in front of the Publix Store. Craig mocked me and told me I can talk to Campbell because he was a supervisor, mocking me for invoking my Miranda Rights earlier, despite the fact that they were never read to me. Craig and the other officers simply looked on and kept joking as I was taken away by Campbell to his patrol car. All officers present during both handcuffing, knew full well I provided no resistance from arrest at any time.
As Campbell hauled me to his squad car, the other officers continued to laugh and joke, and I certainly heard one cop say, “He’s probably got a rifle in his room, and he’s just waiting,” again mocking me for exercising my Constitutional Rights, which were not honored by any means on 5/11/2014 by Aventura Police Department.
Campbell himself taunted me several times while taking me to his squad car. “Did you get beat up a lot as kid?” This is well after I’d invoked my Miranda Rights. I ignored him the first several times. He kept pressing to which I responded, “No, just by the police right now.” At that point, he ended that line of mocking. Then Campbell tried to tell me how he was the nicest one there.
Campbell put me in the back of the squad car and drove me to the back of the building behind the Publix on the East Side to a large empty area where there were no customers or other people nearby. Craig showed up at the front passenger door of Officer Campbell’s car.
Officer Campbell, Badge #197, said to Craig, “Is this where there are not any cameras?” I knew it was a joke to them, but I also feared them assaulting me, after the unlawful arrest, search, manhandling, and complete lack of regard of my Civil Rights
Read entire post here…..
This is why I always encourage folks to share their stories here at CopBlock.org. Many have asked us to start databasing the police. Well, sharing your story does just that. When you share your story here you’re making a documented record of police interactions. Sure, your story might not be that “big”, “excessive” or “brutal.” Yet, it could help show a pattern of aggression, which could help someone else down the road.
Obviously Campbell and other APD employees have had a free run of the mill. They mock, assault and victimize those they claim to protect. They might be getting away with it now but their actions are going to catch up to them in the long run, especially with courageous folks willing to share the details of their dirty deeds. Hopefully, the reports that come in the future have video as well.