A Miami man filed a lawsuit against the local police department for accusing him of “stealing” his own car.
Three years ago, in June 2018, Samuel Scott Jr. was visiting his aunt’s house when he called the police to inform them that his vehicle, a Jeep Compass, was stolen, according to the Independent.
When police arrived an hour later, they placed Scott under arrest. In body camera footage, Scott is seen handcuffed in the back of a police car, trying to convince the officers that he’s not the suspect.
“I’m telling you, you guys have the wrong guy. I can confirm where I was, and I can even confirm my activities,” Scott asserted.
However, officers didn’t believe him and said he fit the description of the supposed suspect: “Black male, bald, about 6ft 2in and heavyset, with a white tank top.”
“But that’s half of Miami. I called because my car got stolen. I mean, why would I call the police? Why am I in handcuffs?” Scott asked.
At the time, Scott was seen wearing a black shirt with a white undershirt, which was not a white tank top as described. He is also described as being inches shorter than the reported suspect.
The video continues to show Scott pleading his case, telling officers that his neighbors know him. He also added that his personal items were in the stolen car.
The arrest report describes that MPD officer Jonathan Guzman witnessed a Jeep Compass racing on an undesignated road a few miles away and speeding 20 miles per hour over the assigned speed limit. Guzman attempted to stop the driver but the vehicle was involved in a collision. The suspect took off on foot before he could be apprehended by the officer.
Upon arrival at Scott’s aunt’s house, officers questioned “if had stolen his own vehicle.” Scott was warned by one of the officers that he could be placed under arrest if he was submitting a false report. Guzman was later held accountable for turning off his body camera three times while at the scene, 6 South Florida discovered.
The lawsuit also revealed that one officer directed his Taser at Scott while interrogating him.
Scott was arrested and booked at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Scott is also accused of possessing four small zip bags that appeared to be “green spots with suspected marijuana,” according to the arrest report.
Faudlin Pierre, Scott’s attorney, is requesting $500,000 in damages against the Miami Police Department. He also said the marijuana-related charges were “just adding to the fantasy we call this arrest.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Nov. 13 and was supported by Miami’s Civilian Investigative Panel (CIP).
Guzman and the three arresting officers are still employed with the MPD, according to a police roster acquired by the Miami New Times.
Pierre says he would like for the officers to apologize to his client for their misconduct but considers that wishful thinking.
“Yes, we want justice, but in the form of him being compensated. That’s the only way our legal system actually provides any remedies,” Pierre said.
No one has been officially charged with stealing Scott’s car.