Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd resigned Wednesday amid allegations that officers under his command have systematically committed civil rights violations.
Boyd, the city’s first and only police chief, had disputed the allegations, which were detailed two weeks ago in a story by the Miami Herald.
The story revealed that members of the force’s specialized crime units routinely stopped, searched and arrested patrons of a local convenience store, the 207 Quickstop. Some of the store’s customers were questioned hundreds of times over the past four years for minor infractions, such as trespassing and violating liquor law ordinances.
Boyd maintained that the officers’ actions were justified because the store is in a high-crime area in need of pro-active policing.
But the store’s owner, Alex Saleh, was disturbed by how his customers were being treated. Last year, he filed a complaint with the department and later installed video cameras. Since then, he has recorded hundreds of videos, many of them showing Miami Gardens police officers stopping, frisking and arresting customers who had committed no serious crime, and who appear to be cooperating with the officers.