Sometimes, it seems as if some civil liberties organizations just go too far. Groups such as Cop Block spend their entire resources on fighting against police abuses, and are often criticized for it. But it is becoming an undeniable truth that local police forces are becoming more and more abusive everyday, especially in South Florida.
Eric Faden can certainly testify this fact. Two weeks ago, Eric and a few other people, many of whom were strangers to each other, gathered in Hialeah to make a local version of the online sensation movement nicknamed "Harlem Shake."
Almost every group in America has done it. The Army did it, high schoolers and college students did it, the Miami Heat did it, even boring politicians did it (ridiculously, but they still did). The Harlem Shake is what many consider to be an answer to the sarcastic "Gangnam Style" from South Korea and involves one person dancing alone, followed after a brief pause by dozens of people shaking ridiculously in all directions.
Apparently, the one place in the world, besides Egypt, where such a creative demonstration of human energy is not tolerated is Hialeah, which turns out to be one of the worst-managed cities in South Florida.
The incident was unexpected, brutal, and most likely criminal. As the group scene was about to be shot by organizer Dax Sotero, a police crew arrived on the scene and stopped the shake. An officer confiscated the camera, unlawfully, and despite the protests.
Eric Faden captured the whole event with his cell phone. When police saw him, they overreacted once more. Even after he put his phone back in his pocket, Eric was thrown to the ground by an officer attacking him from the back. According to another dancer, the grounded man was kicked in the head and violently put in a police car.
In total, three men were arrested on February 24th by the Hialeah police because of what turned out to be the Hialeah Hate. They spent 23 hours in county jail, before being released by a judge, who laughingly said the state dropped all the charges.
But none of these men took the police brutality as a joke. One of them was kicked out of police academy for having been arrested, his dream career ruined. Eric Faden calls the incident a violation of his rights.
They were charged with trespassing unoccupied property and resisting arrest without violence. Both these charges are ridiculous. The police force brutalized Eric, which is an excessive use of power. While in holding, officers tried to have him self-incriminate, in violation of the Fifth Amendment. But when the fifth was pled, police officers kept badgering Faden with questions.
But it doesn't end there. Eric revealed to the Examiner that Sergeant Diaz warned him that if anything in his cell phone were to be found incriminating to the Hialeah Police Department, IT guys would make sure it is deleted from the system.
But what the police didn't know is that Eric Faden is the vice-chairman of the Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade County. He knows his rights and is ready to defend them. "It sounds kind of silly because it was the Harlem Shake, but what if we were defending one of the amendments or some sort of right," he told a local CBS reporter.
On Tuesday night, Adrien Wyllie, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in Florida, came in support of Faden at a campaign stop in Miami. "We need to take a stand against the bully that is the government," he told his audience.
In total, the Hialeah PD violated with the arrest the First, the Fourth, the Fifth, and the Fourteenth Amendments.
The criminal charges were irresponsible and should not constitute grounds to an arrest. Unoccupied property is meaningless, as it takes a proprietor to exist for a property to be owned. The city itself cannot own the land as it was never homesteaded. In other words, individuals should be free to act however they want to as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process when on such lands.
It is a tragic look on the country in which we live. The only other countries having arrested people for doing the Harlem Shake are Egypt, which is governed by conservative Muslims, and Russia, known for its gross violations of human rights. And even in those few cases, the Egypt arrests had more to do with public decency laws (as the dancers were publicly in their underwear), while in Russia, the Harlem Shakers were grouped on a sacred WWII memorial.
In other words, the police force in the United States is becoming increasingly tyrannical. There may not be any conspiracy behind the radical changes law enforcement has gone through in the past few years, but when local police departments are allowed to seize and sell the property of innocent suspects, use drones for surveillance, arrest peaceful citizens for no reason, manipulate machines of war in our streets, and ignore the Constitution, something is definitely wrong
A lawsuit is expected and no civil libertarian will tolerate the harms done by the police to go unpunished.