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ACLU to sue Miami Beach, two cops for ‘unlawful targeting, harassment and arrests of gay men’

The ACLU of South Florida says it is going to sue the city of Miami Beach and two Beach police officers “for damages to stop the unlawful targeting, harassment and arrests of gay men in the Flamingo Park neighborhood.”

Details are contained in this ACLU letter delivered Wednesday to Beach Mayor Mattie Herrera Bower, City Attorney Jose Smith and Police Chief Carlos Noriega:

Strickland Letter to Bower


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Let me take a guess as to why the police are targeting this area. It is a public park and people take their kids there. When it comes time for little johnny to take leak, the mens room is full of sexually intertwined adults. Not something a parent wants to inflict on a child.

Correct, Jezza Bell. And that's why it is imperative to target the park at 1 am, as the ACLU and MBPD report state, because that is a critical time of the day when children and the little Johnnies of the world are most probably hanging around there playing with their footballs and sand castles.

Regardless of whether or not Jezza Ballz is a bigoted idiot; it is still a waste of taxpayer money for the city to defend itself in this frivolous lawsuit. The bill will be passed on to the tax payers both straight and gay.

This lawsuit is BS, and should be thrown out. Just like everybody over at the ACLU should be.

If those who are in the gay/lesbian lifestyle(which they CHOOSE)are not doing anything wrong/illegal, then they shouldn't fear law officers doing their jobs. Its time for the ACLU to be sued by all the adults who've had enough of the ACLU taking our freedoms away.

Is Flamingo Park still a city park after 12 am, or does it get turned over to people who have no other place to go have sex?
Look, gay or straight, it's against the law to have sex in public, as in public parks!

Hey homos heres a thought, when you want a little freaky sex GET A ROOM. And shame on you A.C.L.U. for making Cities have to defend themselves from your idiotic frivilous lawsuits.

POP, I saw nothing about people having sex. I saw something about two men kissing. If kissing is sex, then my 4-year-old is no longer a virgin.

And it's funny how people who are never parts of groups with a history of law enforcement harrassment always think these lawsuits are "frivolous."

Michelle's response shows she was reading TigerBeat when that whole Constitution or Bill of Rights was discussed in class, not to mention took a pass on common sense.

All homos: Come join the Army, you are allowed to do/play wherever and however you like.

Don't parks close after sunset, and isnt it trespassing if you stay or walk into a closed park?

For the anti-Aclu posters. Strickland was arrested and jailed for reporting what he thought was a crime in progress. (kicking the head of handcuffed John Doe). Then YOUR police officers called him derogatory names and threatended to make him DISAPPEAR. A good friend of mine was a young teenager in Argentina in the late 70's when the when the police and military were literally making people disappear. The ACLU is there (Thank God) to protect me and yes protect you from the Goons who don't respect the very laws they promised to uphold. I guess you won't understand that until they COME AFTER YOU or your family member. Just how stupid can you right wing neo-conservative freaks become.

what ever life style people want to live, let them. the problem i have is when that life style is displayed in an unacceptable manner (parks, public rest facilities). this is not accceptable the same as releiving one's self in the public is not acceptable. there are times and situations that occur when "some people" bring attention to themselves(though un-wanted)and then they blame others and in this case scream "harassment"? when the patient told the doctor that his arm hurt when he lifts it up, the doctor's response was, don't lift it! you don't like being harassed performing in a public place "DON'T DO IT" i agree, find a room, bedroom, living room, whereever but not in public restrooms and especially at parks where parents take thir chilren! that is low class, no class and the punishment is DESERVED if a parent inflicks a little pain association, illegal, but deserved!!!

Just have all the gay's meet at the homes of the ACLU lawyers to have sex and they won't have to worry about the park anymore. My thinking is that when the ACLU lawyers come home and find their children sodomized they may think better of it.

The ACLU isn't even suing on behalf of the gay guy, they are suing on behalf of the guy on the cell phone reporting on the police beating up a guy.

Are all you people so dumb?

How would you like the police beating you for calling 911?

MBPD does need to do alittle "cleaning up" themselves. They think they own the beach. I went into 7-11 one time and had to park in the handicap spot because there were absolutely no other spots left in the lot. 5 Miami Beach police officers walked in within a minute, asked who was parked in the handicap spot with no tag, I was at the register at the moment. They said they would ticket me if I didn't go move my car ASAP! I conceded and went to go move my car, and saw to my suprise 3 squad cars parked up on the sidewalk and a guy in a wheelchair trying to maneuver his wheelchair around their cars and into the street to get around. Jerks.

Gays have done lots of good for the dump that South Beach used to be including raising property values and therefore taxes which the city collects.
No city should condone this from their police force. Sometimes cops forget their salaries comes from the residents. This case deserve a full investigation and those at full should be dismissed immediately from public service.

It takes a person who is seriously ignorant and can't understand what the actually facts are about the article above. His civil liberties were violated by sworn officers paid to protect us. Regardless of his sexuality the officers blatantly lied and tried to coverup theie misconduct. Now, if a situation like this happened to you I would bet you would want a legal entity to defend your rights. for the record... gays have always served in the military and it is not a modern occurance.

Dear Homosexuals, Nothing against you, but please don't turn our South Beach Parks into another Tropical Park. Regardless as to when the incident occurred, I live on Catalina Lake and have been thinking twice before I allow my children play across the park at Tropical. Let's try to keep our hands to ourselves, hetrosexual or homosexual. There's a place for everything.

It is the right of citizens who observe potential police misconduct to report it, to ask for badge numbers, etc. Period. This is not a problem restricted to gay men, but an issue with the police overall. and not just in Miami Beach (though it's been my personal experience that it's worse here than in some other large cities). They do not like to be questioned or observed. However, they in fact work for us, especially those of us who live here and pay taxes, not the other way around, and if an atmosphere of mutual respect is not the norm, you have a problem.

Excuse me - but the story is about a man that was doing his civic duty by calling 911 to report a man being kicked in the head while in handcuffs. The 911 Police dispatcher told him to walk over to the car and attempt to find its license number. When he obeyed the Police dispatcher he susequently got arrested, jailed,harassed with derogatory name calling and threatened by the police officer to "Make him Disappear". Yet people in here seem to be talking about sex in the park when even the police officers involoved never witnessed or accused anyone involved of having public sex. Use your brain here. A man was arrested and jailed by the police for reporting police abuse. Are you really defending these police officers actions???

Disgusting! Tired of being targeted. I'm looking to organize a nationwide boycott of Miami Beach, please contact: puckriley@yahoo.com

I live adjacent to this park, and I don't believe a word of the arrestees in this complaint. Sex in the park is a big problem and it is getting worse. I can see sexual activity occuring in the park almost every night. It's inappropriate, scary to see when I am walking at night, and I welcome the enforcement. Most of the culprits are out of towners, although occasionally I do see people in there that I recognize. Also, the police have always treated me and the other residents in my building here politely and with respect.

Thank you ACLU for taking on this issue while national GLBT groups dawdle on gay marriage. I've sent contribution today and am happy to renew my membership for another year. Keep up the good work!

It is good to see the the police are attempting to restore morality to the Beach by removing those committing homosexual offenses. The beach has become a place where it is almost unsafe to take families for fear of running into perverts engaging in homosexual sex acts in public places. This enforcement is a good first step and if the behavior continues they should go back to enforcing our sodomy laws.

When are you people going to realize that homosexuality does NOT equal pedophilia! Go get a dictionary and look it up!
The guys were KISSING. Would the officers have behaved this way if it were a heterosexual couple making out?
Yes the park is closed after midnight but these guys were in the PARKING LOT which people access 24 hrs a day.
Please stop with your homophobia!

I have a suggestion for all the gays that made the Beach what it is--move. Leave it to the straights to become the home for the old and decrepit as it was 30 years ago. It is already a depressing Pottery Barn crowd with nothing to do but eat and drink.

And ten years from now, when the seas rise, the beach will be under water and the city will be no more.

So go elsewhere young men--the beach as you knew it is history.

These officers should get a raise for doing the right things.keep it up guys!!

I hope the City of Miami beach wins the case. Those 2 Mahsisi got what they deserved.

Hopefully incidents like this will make these people realize that their "homosexual" activities are not welcome on the beach. Then we can go back to having a family friendly city like it used to be without worries of having to hide the children from perverted acts that might occur there.

Hey Fredb since when is kissing a homosexual activity? Is holding hands also a homosexual activity?

Please learn to coexist and teach your children to do the same. The beach is an area targeted for tourism and attracts many foreign Europeans. If they read some comments as conservative and primitive as the one's that have been posted here, then they would go somewhere else where people are more welcoming, receptive and admitting. Education, international travel and exposure enhances people skills and allows then to be better citizens and most importantly teaches then to coexist.
Some of the comments posted here, clearly reflect poor taste, lack of respect for others, but most worrying is the fact that people's basic rights have been violated and if you believe they have not, there is a legal system in place and organizations that act as watchdogs that come into play. That is what makes us different as a nation.
The world has changed. Sadly there are plenty in this post that have never evolved and face extinction

The beach belongs to everyone that is willing to accept others regardless of sexual orientation.
It is obvious that some of the folks posting here have not been residents of the beach since 20 years ago.( 1980's) You should have seen what the beach area look like before the gays remade it. Crime was rampant, drugs, rapes and yes that park was a real sex junk yard.
If you don't like gays, I suggest that you move to suburbia where you will find more children and other issues to deal with.
I hope one day you can visit the Castro in San Francisco, San Franciscans expressed their gratitude to the gay community for lifting the Castro area to what it has become today~ a major stop for tourists. The same as the South Beach are.
Again, move out to Suburbia to raise your children if you so desire to keep them in fantasy land.

According to a Syracuse University, OpusComm Group, GSociety Study, these are the top gay cities in America for travel or relocation.
Los Angeles
New York
San Francisco
Washington D.C.

I remember learning when there was a time when a divisions in society was created out of fear instead of understanding. It was either the back of the bus, different water fountains, can't sit at the counter, there vote was not equal and yet with all these diferences people lived with these laws continued to fight for the freedoms this country had and has to offer. Even though there freedoms was not equal. When people started to break that barrier down, equality wasn't something that was deserved but yet a right to every person. So when hear or read ignorant things, I don't get angry or upset, it's a realization that this person discontinued to educate themselves about diversity. This country was built on diversity. So it's seems that the Miami Beach Police Department needs diversity training and better supervision. I've seen things on the beach that MBP have done, it surprises me that they get away with it. That all has to do with a lack diversity training. What surprise me is that Miami Beach visitors is mostly foreigners. Anyway, change can happen but for that to happen, people need to change and educate themselves.

I hope the accusers get millions of dollars and the police pigs who falsely arrested them lose their jobs and have their families leave them...okay maybe I'm a little bitter but what an abuse of power by these police.

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