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Desk duty for 2 Miami Beach cops accused of falsely charging gay tourist who witnessed police beating

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Two Miami Beach police officers accused of making up charges against a gay tourist who said he saw them beating and kicking a handcuffed man near Flamingo Park have been taken off patrol and put on desk duty, city spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez announced Thursday night.

On Wednesday, the ACLU of Florida told Mayor Matti Herrera Bower that it planned to sue the city and Officers Frankly Forte and Elliot Hazzi.

Forte and Hazzi are accused of approaching witness Harold Strickland as he reported the beating to a Miami Beach 911 dispatcher. Forte and Hazzi didn't know who Strickland was speaking with when they took his cellphone and disconnected the call, said Robert F. Rosenwald Jr., director of the ACLU Florida's Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Advocacy Project.

``The officers then told Strickland: `We know what you're doing here. We're sick of all the f---ing fags in the neighborhood.' The officers pushed Strickland to the ground and tied his hands behind his back,'' Rosenwald wrote in an ACLU letter to Bower.

The officers charged Strickland with loitering or prowling and took him to jail. The charge later was dropped.

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Reassigned? How about fired!

If all the allegations against these cops are truth , they should be fire from the Police Department and face legal charges .

total bs and nothing but a set up by deviant people participating in a deviant abnormal lifestyle.

False imprisonment is a crime and so is falsifyig arrest reports. If it is not a felony...it should be. Arrest these officers and give them a taste of their own medicine.

Hey Vic. Boy we Gays are talented! He was able to magically transport himself into the 911 emergency system to insert a "total bs and set up" right into their recorded system! Damm no wonder we make so damm much money!! We are freakin' geinuses!! What is deviant and abnormal is your vile reprehensive hate towards a community that you most likely are secretley participating in

Just wondering why you never mention or support the try-sexual community? I've been a try-sexual for many years, most of the people I know are try-sexual, but we're never acknowledged. I guess we'll just have to keep trying.

Saints in the Superbowl Here we go !!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3F21N4bSnk

totallyconfused: try HARDER!

Right Way: Your lifestyle is totally un-natural and you deviate from the norm thus making the lifestyle abnormal. Those are the facts, like it or not. If someone does not agree with your lifestyle, it is amusing the only come back is to state that the person is hateful..

Let me make it clear that if the officers are guilty they should be fired and their credentials taken away so that they cannot go to another agency. No law enforcement officer has the right to abuse or belittle another human being no matter what the race, gender, nationality, sexual preference is. Law enforcement is to serve and to protect.

Let's say gay's lifestyle is totally unnatural for the sake of argument. Does that give the police carte blanche to kick a man when he's handcuffed and try to take another one to jail under false pretenses? Let's say homosexuals are wrong. Does that give permision to the police to also be wrong? If we're going to be virtuous, let's start with those that are hired to uphold virtuosity.

This is not something new... I was charged FALSELY by a police officer for sexual exposure many years ago, and probably many more on the same situation. People do not believe this, but is happening!


re-assigned??? this is why florida cops are so corrupt. they are thugs with a badge. wait till one of the gay boys gets them alone in jail

Using the F(ag)-word in that context is the same as using the N-word, and reflects a hate that is inconsistant with Police work, or any other kind of job that involves people. They should be fired and the Police Department needs to do a sensitivity training session ot two.

Watch this video about Gay hate and Gay rights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miKqIg3W8vk

After you watch it you will or at least should support Gay rights.

Misunderstanding, put them back on patrol.

Misunderstanding my a**...the cops were misusing their authority to spread hatred. Fire them, and sentence them to community service...say, by wearing a sandwich board that reads "I discriminated against the gay community. This is my punishment."

maybe it is about time to totally put florida on a do not visit list seems even in usually friendly areas the hate is more violent hit them in the pocket book leave florida to the bigots and drug dealers

gays are easy targets for the cops, they do not run, fight back or carry weapons. unlike many on washington avenue. they are cowards that do not get out of thier patrol car, crime is out of control in miami beach, people are stabbed right in front of the police station! for real! the criminals have no fear of the cops on the beach cause they know the cops are afraid of them and to make up for the loss in arrests they go after the gays

It is a terrible decision to put take two qualified police officers out of the field when they were doing such a fine job of fixing the problem with "homosexual" behavior on the beach. We need more like this so that someday soon it will be safe to take a family to the beach without fear of exposing our children to perverts. Either way these fine officers have served a purpose to let it be known to perverts like the one in the article that their behavior is not welcome on the beach. Cleaning up the beach is a gradual process and one day it will be the great and flourishing place it was before these perverts arrived.

Gays are definitely easy targets for the cops, as well as everybody else. If the police department did its job on Miami Beach, the place would be much more popular and successful. I agree with the poster above that the police act like cowards sometimes. The crime on South Beach is everywhere, from beggars harrassing tourists on Lincoln to trashy prostitutes approaching walkers on Collins and Ocean. All residents know there is little police protection on the beach and that the drunken hoodlums who block the cities sidewalks while hitting on uninterested women get a free pass.....Oh, that's right...the police dept. is arresting gays at a park at 1:00 a.m. in the morning for meeting other gays....what a crime!!!!!

first, no one is supposed to be in the park after dark, gay or straight, much less at 1 a.m. second, the guy (strickland) who alleged he was a victim plead no contest to prowling and loitering around the park on same night. also, his 9-1-1 call caught some of the police officers comments and there were no anti-gay epithets nor were they heard beating anyone up.

btw - isn't it strange that the same guy (rothaus) who writes this advocacy blog also writes the herald news stories on the same topics? so much for objective reporting.

VIC1, FRED B, and all of your hateful ilk, may you be castrated and choked with your own pathetic cocks, you bigots are the sickening unnatural thing in this world that needs to be targeted. Fascist pigs

@Diggy, nice try.

Strickland called 911 at 1:06 a.m., according to dispatch records.

Forte wrote in an arrest report that 30 minutes later -- at 1:36 a.m. -- he saw Strickland trying to break into six cars at 14th Street and Michigan Avenue near Flamingo Park.

Strickland said he tried to tell the officers about his call to 911, but that they wouldn't listen to him. They took him to jail on a loitering-or-prowling charge. At a hearing the next day, a judge told him that he would get out of jail faster if he pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor, Rosenwald said.

Strickland agreed, left jail and called the ACLU. He later changed his plea to not guilty. The State Attorney's Office later dropped the charge.

The police also had there deposition taken in the criminal case against strickland and guess what they both in separate depos told different lies. That is felony perjury in the State of Florida and carries 5 years in prison just on the deposition lies. Now tack on the false arrest, phony police reports that are also under penalty of perjury and you have another 5 years in prison.

Weather Strickland was at the park dancin nude singing Donna Summer songs is irrevelant because the perjury in the deposition and police reports are felonies.

BTW - The State dropped the charges after seeing the depositions of the officers in there own words.

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