Herisse’s aggressive lack of cooperation led to his date with Darwin, as he ultimately succumbed to acute lead poisoning at the hands of local police.
The second incident involved Carlos Lakeith King, a Charleston, SC fire captain who, while allegedly driving drunk and attempting to run a police checkpoint, narrowly avoided being shot by an officer he nearly ran over. After being missed by the officer’s gunfire, he crashed his car and was arrested for DUI, among other charges.
These incidents, on top of the related property damage, vandalisms, fights, sexual assaults, and other offenses that led to the 400+ arrests over just 72 hours have raised an outcry in Miami Beach, with residents calling for an end to the UBW once and for all. And it’s this outcry that led to the comments by Mayor Matti Bowers, and ultimately the column by Nyberg, that apparently indict – wrongly, when you really look at it with a critical eye - the ACLU as some form of enabler of criminality.
To be fair, the ACLU has weighed in on the Herisse shooting, calling into question not that he was shot, but rather two specific and alleged acts by police: First was the indication that over 100 rounds were fired by police during the shooting and some may have struck other persons in addition to Herisse. Second were the reports by certain individuals that police officers, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, aggressively approached, and confiscated the cell phones of (and in one case allegedly destroying the cell phone of), persons who had videotaped the shooting.
Like it or not, and rightly or wrongly on the part of the police, that many rounds fired and those actions in the aftermath are going to attract inquiry by civil rights watchdogs. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If the rounds fired and subsequent actions are justified, then bring on the scrutiny! We can survive it. If not, let remediation take place, corrective action can be undertaken, and mistakes won’t be repeated.
Nyberg references Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower’s words to conclude:
Enforcement, she said, is heavily scrutinized by the ACLU… and basically hog-ties her department’s ability to search coolers, pat down people, and do things police do to thwart threats to the common public.
So, without that scrutiny the MBPD could or would just do anything they want, the 4th Amendment be damned, and if you don’t like it you have the ACLU to blame? Thanks, Mayor! That’s the impression we hoped you’d go with!
If you check the source he apparently draws his information from (without directly citing it) and objectively critique it, here is the quote you find from Bower, explaining why the city cannot specifically crack down on the UBW:
"There is no organizer, no event. It's just there," she said, emphasizing that the city does not control or issue any permits for any of the long weekend's events. She also claimed heavy monitoring from the ACLU handicaps the city's ability to increase enforcement.
It's a different situation than the city's increased spring break enforcement, she said, because "they're not there saying 'you can't search that cooler'" at spring break.
Is the American Civil Liberties Union that influential over government decisions? "I guess so," she said.
- The Miami New Times news blog
Now, read between the lines… the UBW is not city sponsored or permitted – it just happens and has happened over and over for the better part of a decade - and therefore is not under any special 4th Amendment exemptions that would permit law enforcement to simply “search coolers, pat down people, and do things the police do to thwart threats to the common public” absent the relevant lawful justifications normally required. People just show up and do what they do. Hotels rent rooms to them and businesses cater to them. Local law enforcement apparently prepares for and, as the situation requires, arrests them when they step out of line. And at least twice this year, police had to use deadly force. So be it, if it’s justified.