Seven Months after being shot ostensibly by a barrage of bullets by police, three innocent bystanders try to piece their lives together while they continue waiting for answers

Last Memorial Day Weekend, Miami Beach police officers (together with some of Hialeah’s finest) fired over 100 bullets at a suspect’s vehicle–despite the fact that there were dozens of innocent bystanders in the immediate vicinity. Three of those bystanders were shot and seriously injured. Incredibly enough, three days later the Miami Beach Police Department announced that they found a gun in the suspect’s car.

In the aftermath of the shooting, officers on the scene harassed and wrongfully arrested other innocent bystanders who had the gall to film the incident on their phones. Luckily, the police weren’t able to confiscate and destroy all of the recordings.

One of the victims, Crystal Rivera, had to change her numbers and get an attorney after feeling that Miami Beach Police investigators were treating her like a criminal by seizing her clothing, preventing family members from visiting her in the hospital, and performing a gun powder residue test on her hands. She recalls one investigator asking her: “How do you know you were shot by a Miami [Beach] cop?’’

The most troubling part of this story, is that it is anything but an isolated instance of police brutality and misconduct for the Miami Beach Police Department. In the past year we have seen abhorrent conduct by Miami Beach officers in numerous other high-profile cases.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out there is something seriously wrong at the Miami Beach Police Department. Which begs the question: Where is the U.S. Justice Department?

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By: David Edelstein December 25, 2011.