MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A judge ruled that a jail cell strike during an arrest that took place nearly five years ago crossed the line.
“All he had to do was close the cell,” said Richard Johnson.
Johnson was elbowed and roughed up inside Miami Beach Police headquarters following a 2017 drug arrest, in which he was also charged with resisting.
The police station skirmish spawned an internal affairs investigation of undercover officers.
“Why were you mad? Because we exchanged words,” said Johnson.
Johnson returned to where he said he was emotionally traumatized Wednesday, to tell 7News about a recent legal victory.
The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Johnson last November.
The court reversed a civil suit Johnson filed and initially lost against Miami Beach Police. The court found that one of the undercover officers in that cell in March of 2017 “used excessive force.”
7News met with Johnson before he did two years in prison for his drug offenses. Wednesday, he took us to where he was arrested blocks from the police station.
Sheldon: “You sold cocaine to an undercover officer?”
Richard Johnson: “Correct.”
Miami Beach Police released a statement that said: “The department stands behind the findings and the actions of our officers.”
Their internal affairs investigation closed in 2019. It resulted in no disciplinary action other than a reprimand of two officers, not for excessive force, but for not activating their body camera.
“He covered his camera,” said Johnson.
Johnson said he wants another day in court.
“He violated my rights, and I feel like I didn’t deserve that. It’s sad,” said Johnson.
Johnson and his attorneys said they hope this appellant court ruling will clear the way for them to file another civil suit.
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