73ºF

Chief to ‘Justice for Breonna Taylor’ protest organizer: ‘If you want to be arrested, we will accommodate you’

MIAMI – Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina released a statement and two videos on Monday targeting Noura Fahmy, a Black Lives Matter protest organizer in Miami. She has been demanding justice for a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13.

Colina used a video on Twitter to send Fahmy a message: “If you want to be arrested, we will accommodate you. If you don’t, and you truly want to protest peacefully, we are thankful. Please do that and remain on the sidewalk. You don’t have to waste our resources anymore and we won’t have to arrest you.”

Colina accused Fahmy of lying about the circumstances of her arrest on Wednesday. The statement comes a few days after Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney, used social media to share a protester’s video of her arrest while standing on the sidewalk.

“She was walking with her signs & officers arrested her,” Crump wrote on Twitter. “Police can’t stop you from peacefully protesting. This is harassment and a violation of First Amendment rights!”

Colina said this was a lie.

“This is nothing more than an attempt to turn the public against us in law enforcement and to further incite people to come out and commit acts of lawlessness,” Colina said.

To prove it, Colina released an aerial video showing Fahmy had been part of a group of people who were blocking traffic on Biscayne Boulevard while holding up signs. Fahmy and other protesters are demanding justice for Breonna Taylor.

This undated photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor  in Louisville, Ky.  Three months after plainclothes detectives serving a warrant busted into Tylor's apartment on March 13, 2020, and shot the 26-year-old Black woman to death, only one of the three officers who opened fire has lost his job.  Calls for action against the officers have gotten louder during a national reckoning over racism and police brutality following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.  (Photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP)
This undated photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. Three months after plainclothes detectives serving a warrant busted into Tylor's apartment on March 13, 2020, and shot the 26-year-old Black woman to death, only one of the three officers who opened fire has lost his job. Calls for action against the officers have gotten louder during a national reckoning over racism and police brutality following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. (Photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP)

Fahmy and other protesters want three Louisville Metro Police Department officers — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove — to pay for Taylor’s death. The officers were legally able to target Taylor’s home because Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mary Shaw approved a controversial no-knock warrant.

Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was a suspect in a narcotics investigation. Taylor was not. She was home with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker who was also not a suspect.

“Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Walker told a 911 dispatcher.

Walker, who claims he did not know they were police officers, shot Mattingly in the leg. The officers were not wearing uniforms or body cameras. Taylor was unarmed. The officers did not find any narcotics in her home. The investigation is ongoing.

Fahmy didn’t deny she had been protesting by blocking traffic on Biscayne Boulevard. With the video showing her on the sidewalk before the arrest, she and other witnesses dispute the officer’s report that she “did not move, at which time she was given a lawful command to move to the sidewalk in which she still willfully refused.”

In his Monday statement, Colina did not mention Fahmy’s cause.

“They are standing in front of moving traffic for the purposes of being arrested,” Colina said.

Colina released police bodycam video showing Fahmy was a repeat offender. The video of a prior arrest showed the officer, who was not the same one who arrested her on Wednesday, was very polite and gentle with Fahmy.

“Sorry, that we are wasting your resources. It’s for a message if you didn’t get it,” Fahmy said during the July 13 arrest. “It’s all females.”

Colina agreed with Fahmy. There were at least five police cars involved during the July 13 arrest.

“Those officers that are there, they cannot respond to 911 calls that are holding,” Colina said. “They cannot respond to back up their fellow officers. They can’t go handle other traffic accidents that might have occurred.”


About the Authors: