Another appalling story of police brutality:
Gilberto Powell, 22, was stopped by officers in the area of Southwest 111th Place and Southwest 138th Street around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a Miami-Dade Police report.
The report said officers spotted a bulge in Powell’s waist band and when they tried to pat him down, he tried to flee. Police say Powell broke free as officers tried to place him in handcuffs, hitting his forehead on the ground.
It’s not clear from the article what the circumstances were that justified the stop in the first place, but having a bulge in your waist band would not be probable cause for anything. Here’s what the police say:
And here’s what the family says:
Powell hit one of the officers in the chest and continued to struggle until one of the officers “struck [Powell] in the left side of his face with an open hand in an attempt to subdue him,” the report said.
After Powell was finally handcuffed and questioned, the officers realized he was “mentally challenged, was not capable of understanding our commands, and that the bulge in his waistband was a colostomy bag,” the report said.
Miami-Dade Police issued a statement Wednesday, saying they’re still investigating the incident.
But Gold says the police report is inaccurate and Powell’s family is outraged. Gold said Powell claims he didn’t hit any of the officers and was just trying to go home.
“He’s a really nice kid, he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Gold said. “Gilberto says he didn’t do anything wrong, he just wanted to go home.”
Gold said Powell and other witnesses claim police body slammed him to the ground, bloodying his face and eye and causing contusions to his head. The injury to his eye may still require surgery, Gold said.
Even worse, Gold claims Powell’s colostomy bag was “ripped right off his body.” …
Gold also claims the officers should have known Powell has special needs immediately.
If you just look at Gilberto, he 5-foot-3, 130 pounds with Down Syndrome, it’s 100 percent obvious he has Down Syndrome,” he said. It’s impossible to believe [the police’s story] if you hear one word out of Gilberto’s mouth.”
It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to find out the police lied on their reports; that’s happened so often that one can safely assume that it is absolutely routine. That it could possibly take that kind of brutality to subdue a 130 pound handicapped man even if he was resisting is impossible to believe.