Miami Beach Police Deny Destroying SoBe Shooting Witness Phone

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – The Miami Beach Police Department has responded to a South Florida man’s claims that a police officer tried to seize a video he had taken of a Memorial Day shooting involving nearly a dozen officers on South Beach.

Narces Benoit said he and girlfriend Ericka Davis just happened to be in the area when police surrounded a car driven by Raymond Herisse and opened fire. Herisse was killed and four bystanders and three police officers were injured.

Benoit said when he saw the officers surrounding the car, he pulled out his cell phone and hit the video record button. After the shooting, Benoit said when one of the officers noticed him recording what was going on, he came over to the truck with his gun drawn.

“One of the officers jumped in the truck, put a pistol to me head, poked me like three times saying ‘What the”bleep” is you recording?” By that time I was on the floor, handcuffed, my phone was smashed, he stepped on it,” said Benoit.

Benoit said he was able to pull the memory card from the phone and hid it in his mouth while he and Davis were questioned by police.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Miami Beach police confirmed that one of their officers detained Benoit, but it had nothing to do with his cell phone.

According to their statement:

“Mr. Benoit had exited his vehicle and approached the incident scene and was observed quickly walking toward his vehicle immediately after the shooting. Because Mr. Benoit matched the description of one of the subjects just reported fleeing the scene and, further, because he ignored repeated commands as he quickly walked towards and entered his vehicle, he was detained by officers.”

Miami Beach police also confirmed that the confiscated Benoit’s phone, and those of several other people, but it was not to censor the video.

“Any and all video of the incident is crucial to the investigation, and it is not unusual for police to secure any video that may have evidentiary value. Several other phones were also secured during the course of the investigation.”

benoit phone Miami Beach Police Deny Destroying SoBe Shooting Witness Phone

Narces Benoit Phone (Source: Miami Beach Police)

As for smashing the phone, the release contained pictures of Benoit’s phone which was a little banged up but not in pieces as if it had been smashed.

“Contrary to Mr. Benoit’s statements to the media, the cell phone turned over to the Miami Beach Police Department is in working order; the only damage observed to the cell phone is to the lower right portion of the LCD screen and it is unknown when this damage occurred. This damage does not appear consistent with Mr. Benoit’s statements to the media that his phone was “smashed.”

The State Attorney’s Office subpoenaed Benoit’s video last Friday and it was turned over.

Police opened fire just before 4:00 a.m. Monday, May 30th, after Herisse reportedly tried to run over several officers near 18th Street and Collins Avenue. More than one hundred rounds were fired by the eight Miami Beach and four Hialeah police officers involved in the shooting. Police found a Berretta 92F semi-automatic pistol in the car Herisse was driving, but haven’t said if it was fired during the melee.

  • Luis Bonilla

    Mr Benoit,

    Sue these corrupted cops. Ask for the tape recordings of which record the suspects discription. If you fit the discription the best you can do is Racial profiling. If you dont fit the discritpion, u have big $ ahead of you. Make sure you sue for punitive damages to you and your wife. Bankrupt the department and City(if not already bankrupt).

    • steve

      the man had celphone camara , and cops pull out gun ,frist you do not pull out gun only when suspect may have , buy pulling out a pulling out gun you are risking someone else’s life , that cop needs to be removed from the force , he failed basic traning rules .

  • DJ

    I agree, this is might be the beginning of the end for Miami Beach Copz corruption. It has to begin somewhere. A gangland style shooting by the copz is as good a place as any.

    Birng ’em down. Taking their parking bureau brethren with them.

  • God's Child

    These officers acted in a very poor manner. They should have presented themselves in a more professional way. The “suspect” did not open fire first so why would these TWELVE officers shoot more than 100 rounds into this vehicle if harm was not done to them??????? These 12 officers should be fired not suspended if anything. The people that you expect to protect you are the same ones that are hurting you. I am very disgusted with how police now a days are abusing their rights as officers. Something has to be done and it have to be done NOW.

  • Rozay

    Here is the full video of what really happen .

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