If a jury awards Jesse Campodonico $100 million, it will still not compensate him for his suffering and humiliation when he was beaten up and arrested by city of Miami police officers.
Burglaries, armed robberies, drug sales, and other such crimes occur in this city on a daily basis. Yet a good portion of the city of Miami police officers don’t concentrate on pursuing the criminals who commit crimes where people are actually hurt; they much prefer to arrest innocent, law-abiding citizens over insignificant incidents when no crime has been committed. They have a tendency to blow things way out of proportion.
Arrests for battery upon a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with or without violence, disorderly conduct, and trespass, in which the cop becomes the alleged victim, should always be suspect because they generally involve dirty cops such as Nathaniel Dauphin, who recently pleaded guilty to providing protection for a sports gambling ring in Liberty City and now is being sued by Campodonico for police brutality at a festival.
Such witnesses usually are fellow police officers who, even if they contradict each other, daringly act as false witnesses and go into depositions and lie without any impunity. In the Campodonico case, I’m willing to bet that there are no independent civilian witnesses who will corroborate Dauphin’s story.
The Dauphin type of police officer is a tragic element of our society. With their uniforms, badges and guns they create pure hell for their victims. What’s even more startling, is that the state attorney’s office generally goes along with these police officers and continues to prosecute cases against innocent people even though it’s crystal clear that the defendants are the victims.
Campodonico was both unlucky and lucky. He was unlucky because his trip to Miami to attend a music festival turned into a nightmare. He was lucky that there was a videotape and that he had the financial ability to hire an attorney who courageously defended him and who exposed the arresting cops. Unfortunately, there are a lot of other innocent people who are forced to plead to crimes that they didn’t commit because they cannot afford legal representation, have no video or because they have no choice but to yield to police authority.
Perjury by police officers is more than a crime; it is depraved. The state attorney’s office should, without hesitation, file appropriate criminal charges against cops who lie under oath. This could serve as a deterrent and prevent future illegal arrests and abuse of innocent people.
Emilia Diaz Fox, Miami