Florida man arrested 27 times going to work

December 2, 2013 10:14:46 AM PST
A man in Florida has reportedly been arrested 27 times at a convenience store and now he and others are filing a lawsuit.

Not only has Earl Sampson reportedly been arrested more than two dozen times for trespassing there, he's also been detained many more times. But it turns out, Sampson works at the Miami Gardens store.

The store's owner, Ali Saleh, accuses police of targeting not only Sampson, but many of his customers. Saleh installed cameras at his store and said they captured what he says is evidence of the targeting.

"I feel abused," said Saleh. "I believe I live in America and America has a Constitution to protect its citizens."

Saleh, Sampson and several local residents filed a federal lawsuit against the city, the mayor and the police chief, charging civil rights violations, saying in part, "MGPD officers have used, and continue to use, race and/or national origin for the purpose of stopping, frisking, searching, seizing and arresting principally black males."

Miami Police issued a statement, saying they're investigating the allegations and they take seriously complaints against their officers.

The store sits in a high-crime area. It's not clear whether it's being singled out more than others, and if so, why. The city's mayor says there's a zero tolerance policy.

During the past couple of years, Miami Gardens has been going through a rash of violent crimes, according to media reports.

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