Man files lawsuit against Miami-Dade Police Department alleging rough arrest

Prosecutors say officers were 'less than truthful' in arrest report


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A man filed a lawsuit last week against the Miami-Dade Police Department and two of its officers, more than a year after he claims he was arrested and beaten by the officers.

According to the lawsuit, Ephraim Casado was pulled over in his vehicle March 27, 2017, by Officers William Baskins and Oliver Mayorga, who work for the Miami-Dade Police Department's Robbery Intervention Detail, for allegedly throwing bottles out the window of his car.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office confirmed that Casado was arrested that day on charges of resisting arrest, criminal mischief and possession of cannabis.

The case was dismissed by the state on Aug. 9, 2017, because prosecutors said it appeared that the officers were "less than truthful about the actual events that occurred during this incident."

"What they said -- they were wrong. And even the prosecutors knew that," Casado told Local 10 News on Tuesday. "That's why the prosecutors threw my case out."

According to a close-out memo, body-cam footage doesn't show the initial stop, but shows Casado opening his car door and getting out of it slowly with his hands raised.

The officers, however, reported that Casado got out of his car hiding his hands and was resisting arrest.

Prosecutors said the video shows Casado's vehicle parked on the grass in front of his home in the area of Northwest 91st Street and 20th Avenue.

The memo stated that the officers were pointing their guns at Casado before he had even gotten out of his car.

Prosecutors said Mayorga grabbed Casado by his arm and threw him on the back of his car.

Body-cam footage from one of the officers shows the cop walking toward a fence where a dog was watching the action. The fence then opens slightly and the dog gets out, jumping on Casado. However, it's unclear whether the dog actually bit Casado. 

Both officers held Casado's hands down on the trunk while yelling at him to "stop resisting," so he could be handcuffed, the close-out memo stated.

According to the close-out memo, Baskin took his body-worn camera off prior to that and placed it on the hood so that the incident couldn't be recorded.

Prosecutors said Baskin put it back on during the struggle.

He then punched Casado three times in the face, prosecutors said.

According to the memo, Casado told Baskin, "You punched me!" and Baskin responded, "You're f***ing right I did."

Casado was also heard in the footage telling the officers that his head and mouth were bleeding, and asking for their badge number.

"What are you going to do about it?" one officer is heard responding to him. 

Prosecutors said after Casado was taken into custody, one of the officers instructed the other not to "say anything" because the cameras were on. 

The Miami New Times reported that both officers are still working for the Miami-Dade Police Department and were never disciplined or charged in the case.

"My mom told me everyday, 'Just get it out of the way and take probation,'" Casado said. "'No Ma. Why would I do that?' They finna make me take probation for maybe three years, for what?"

Casado filed a lawsuit against both officers and the police department on Thursday.

He is demanding a jury trial and seeks payment for "past, present and future medical expenses, compensatory damages, exemplary and punitive damages, pain and suffering and impairment of future earning capacity."

He also wants the police department and the two officers to pay his attorney's fees, the costs of the lawsuit and "such other relief as the court may deem just and proper."

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