LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - The man who was arrested for selling coconuts and sugarcane in a store parking lot without a permit said officers crossed the line, but police have a different story.
Lauderhill Police said 64-year-old Berris McKenzie has been warned several times about selling sugarcane from his van in front of the Kwik Stop Food Store on Northwest 16th Avenue, so when they spotted him there Saturday with a customer he was asked to leave.
“Wrap it up, boss, wrap it up,” said an officer on body cam.
Police said McKenzie ignored the officer, and his body-worn camera seems to back that up.
“Finish up, bro, you been told,” said the officer.
McKenzie said he asked for a break.
“The cops approach me and say, ‘What did I tell you?’ I replied, ‘Officer, it’s you again, man? Can’t you give me a break. I just got here because someone called me, so just relax,'” said McKenzie. “Now I’m upset, so I used two Jamaican curse words and tell (him) to go look for some thieves who are selling coke and crack and leave me alone.”
“It’s against city ordinance to be selling items or conducting business without going through the city for a permit,” said Lauderhill Police Maj. Mike Santiago.
The major said the city and the police department have been working on a new initiative, cracking down on loitering outside of businesses and said McKenzie had been warned several times about selling sugarcane out of his van.
But when officers asked McKenzie for ID they said he locked himself in his van.
“Got your ID on you, man? … Got your ID,” said the officer.
Then when he did get out, he ignored commands to stop walking away.
“The individual began screaming, became very non-compliant,” said Santiago.
“Do you wanna get tazed? Do you wanna get tazed?,” said the officer.
Police said they had to strike McKenzie three times with a Taser to get him in handcuffs.
He was taken to jail and charged with resisting without violence, violating a city ordinance, and he was released on $100 bond.
“Yes, I have injuries. Right now I feel pain. I’m supposed to return to the doctor,” said McKenzie. “They try to throw me in jail without a doctor seeing me.”
McKenzie feels like police went too far, but they said all of this could have been avoided.
“None of this would have happened,” said Santiago after he was asked if McKenzie had just said listened from the beginning.
McKenzie has to either get a permit in order to sell his sugarcane or find another location.
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