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Florida Carry Sues Miami Beach over Police Action against 'Legally Armed' Fishermen

March 27, 2019 - 5:00pm
Miami Beach police officer on South Pointe Pier, July 24, 2018
Miami Beach police officer on South Pointe Pier, July 24, 2018

A lawsuit for deprivation of civil rights under color of law and violations of Florida firearms and fishing laws was filed Wednesday against the City of Miami Beach and officers of its police department. The action was over an incident in which the officers assaulted, battered, and detained law-abiding fishermen at a Florida Carry fishing meetup on the South Pointe Fishing Pier on June 24, 2018, according to Florida Carry. 

The incident was captured on video, available on this page.

Dubbed the “South Pointe Six,” six Florida Carry members and supporters were held by police for more than two hours "without cause, while the police officers went on a fishing expedition of their own in an illegal attempt to find something ... anything ...the officers could use in order to charge the 'South Pointe Six' with a crime before finally failing and releasing them," said the organization filing suit.

Even after eventually releasing Florida Carry’s members, "the Police Department forced the premature end of our First Amendment-protected gathering by closing the public fishing pier until all known Florida Carry members and supporters left the area."

Said Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna in a written statement, “Florida Carry will not allow our members to be abused, injured, held without cause, and have their civil rights violated without the strongest possible response to prevent these types of attacks on the good, law-abiding citizens of our Great State.

“Most police officers and deputies we encounter are outstanding professionals who have an incredibly tough job to do. We respect that honor that," Caranna said.  "However, we’ve seen these types of abuses happen far too many times in cities and counties that do not respect the Right to Bear Arms. Every city and county in Florida should already know that proper training about the legal possession and carry of firearms is necessary. These types of abuses will not be tolerated.

The plaintiffs are represented by Florida Carry General Counsel Eric Friday. 

Friday, who successfully sued the city of Tampa over a similar 2015 case of a detained fisherman with a handgun, warned Miami Beach Police after the incident that their officers had committed an aggravated assault in their actions and he would seek more information about the interaction.

The City of Miami Beach has yet to issue a response.

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