MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - A former Miami-Dade Police officer is suing the City of Miramar after he said an arrest by a Miramar police officer ruined his career.
It started on the streets of Miramar when city officer Yahmed Yema said he saw off-duty Miami-Dade officer Kevin Thomas run a stop sign and strike a small tree.
“He smelled like alcohol. He was drenched in liquid, which I thought to be beer. He had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes,” said Yema.
Yema said that despite his alcohol suspicions, no DUI tests were performed.
He instead called his sergeant, who called Miami-Dade Police. Both departments responded to the scene, and Thomas was given several citations and charged with reckless driving.
In 2015, Miramar’s former police chief Ray Black told 7News the arrest was mishandled.
“Those further steps that might have ended up taking him into custody for DUI or drunk driving did not take place. That’s what stopped, and that’s where the mistake occurred that night,” he said via phone.
The case went to court, and Thomas said he wasn’t drunk.
“I don’t drink beer,” said Thomas. “It was a red solo cup with some sweet tea that I had earlier when I was driving.”
Thomas’ attorney, Juan Gonzalez, argued in front of the jury that his client was racially profiled.
“You take him down and you handcuff him like a dog on the street because he’s a black man, sir,” said Gonzalez in court. “That wasn’t because he was a black man? Are you kidding me?”
It took the jury just 15 minutes to find the Miami-Dade officer innocent, and now Thomas is suing both Yema and the City of Miramar for damages.
His lawsuit said Yema’s actions caused him to be “disciplined by his employer” and that his “credibility and character were besmirched throughout the Miami-Dade County Police Department.”
7News reached out to the City of Miramar and its police department for comment but did not receive a response.
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