The City of Miami Beach has responded
to claims its police department targets gay men, the Miami Herald
Police officers Frankly Forte and
Elliot Hazzi have been taken off patrol and assigned to desk duty
pending the results of an internal investigation, city spokeswoman
Nannette Rodriguez announced Thursday night.
American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU) announced Wednesday
its intention to sue the City of Miami Beach, Forte and Hazzi over a
March 13, 2009 incident.
The civil rights group alleges the
officers harassed and arrested Harold Strickland, a gay former Miami
Beach resident, after he called 911 to report the beating of a gay
man at the hands of the police officers as he lay handcuffed on the
ground in Flamingo Park.
In his 911 call, Strickland says, “And
they pushed this guy on the ground, the one cop did, and the other
cop came up, as if he was kicking a football and kicked the guy in
the head. Just some aggressive behavior going on and I'm not sure
it's acceptable, to be honest.”
The officers arrested Strickland for
loitering and prowling in the park, charges he pleaded no contest to,
but which later were dropped.
The ACLU alleges the arresting officers
yelled anti-gay slurs at Strickland as he was being booked, including
multiple instances of calling him a “fucking fag.”