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NCAAP Wants Justice Dept. Investigation Of Miami Gardens Police

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(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has been asked to open a civil rights investigation into allegations of harassment by members of the Miami Gardens police department.

The NAACP requested the investigation.

The allegations are focused on a convenience store equipped with video cameras that recorded many of the questionable encounters and arrests. They include a store employee arrested 62 times for trespassing even though he was working there.

The request comes two weeks after the store’s owner filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and dozens of its officers alleging cops are profiling and harassing residents. That lawsuit claims the police are violating people’s rights through illegal stop-and-frisks, arrests and other tactics.

The Miami-Dade Branch of the N-Double-A-C-P and the Florida State Conference are asking both the U-S Attorney General and the U-S Attorney for the Southern District of Florida to look into the allegations.

“It is always painful to have to make this kind of a fairly rare but very compelling appeal to our federal authorities when a local jurisdiction has so gravely offended basic civil rights protections and expectations,” said David Honig, Special Counsel to Florida NAACP

The NAACP hopes an “action plan” can be developed if an investigation finds the department’s policies and practices are flawed.

The police department has not responded to CBS4′s requests for comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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