Homeless Voice Wasn't Allowed Into News Conference About Cop Who Slapped Homeless Man

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Ray Downs
The Homeless Voice's Sean Cononie wasn't allowed inside.
Before the Fort Lauderdale Police Department held a news conference to address the video showing one of its own slapping a homeless man for no good reason, one newspaper wasn't allowed to attend: the Homeless Voice, Fort Lauderdale's long-running publication dedicated to homeless issues.

Sean Cononie, executive director of the Homeless Voice and one of the city's most prominent homeless advocates, says that when Captain Frank Sousa saw him, the news conference was moved indoors. And when Cononie tried to enter the building, Sousa refused to let him enter because he didn't have proper credentials.

"As soon as I got to the door, [Sousa] steps in front of me and says I can't come in. He said I have to be credentialed press," says Cononie, a prominent homeless advocate who has been at the helm of the Homeless Voice for 17 years running its newspaper and homeless shelter in Hollywood.

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Fort Lauderdale Cop Who Slapped Homeless Man Omits Slap in Arrest Report

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via Youtube
This part didn't make it into the arrest report.
Victor Ramirez, the Fort Lauderdale police officer who slapped a homeless man who wanted to use a public restroom, didn't bother mentioning the slapping part in the arrest report he filed.

Ramirez arrested Bruce Laclair, a 58-year-old homeless man, on Sunday, February 22, for trespassing. The exchange between cop and man that led to the arrest was caught on video by a McDonald's-eating bystander and soon went viral. But the most shocking part of that video -- the savage smack of a homeless man who posed no physical threat to the officer -- was completely left out of Ramirez's written narrative of the incident. Luckily, we're able to compare the written report to what actually happened.

Laclair says in the video that he wanted to go use the restroom, but Ramirez insisted he leave the Broward Central Terminal immediately. After Ramirez grabs his arm, Laclair shakes him off -- and then Ramirez shoves Laclair to the ground.

While on the ground, Laclair states his desire to use the restroom -- but Ramirez wasn't having it.

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As FBI Investigates, Boynton Beach Police Show Helicopter Video of Officers Beating Man

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Boynton Beach PD/YouTube
The footage was recorded by a PBSO helicopter.
The Boynton Beach Police Department is under an FBI investigation for brutally beating a suspect who had led them on a high-speed chase on August 20, 2014. And in an effort to give "some context to the public," the BBPD showed helicopter footage captured by PBSO that night.

Byron Harris, 26 at the time, fled a traffic stop and lead police on a chase southbound on I-95 and then into a residential neighborhood off Okeechobee Boulevard. He is also accused of intentionally hitting an officer with his car during the chase.

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Video Shows Fort Lauderdale Cop Slapping Homeless Man Who Wanted to Use Restroom: "You're Not Going to Pee!"

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Via YouTube
A Fort Lauderdale Police officer slaps a defenseless man.
UPDATE: Victor Ramirez, the Fort Lauderdale police officer seen in this video slapping a homeless man who wanted to use a public restroom, didn't bother mentioning the slapping part in the arrest report he filed.

A video is being shared online of what appears to be a Fort Lauderdale Police officer pushing a man to the ground before delivering a vicious slap -- all because the man wanted to use a public restroom.

In the video, which appears to take place at the Broward Central Bus Terminal in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Bruce Laclair walks slowly through the terminal while the officer follows behind, slipping on latex gloves. Officer Victor Ramirez then grabs the man's arm, and the man jerks away -- that's when the officer pushes him to the ground.

See also: Fort Lauderdale Cop Who Slapped Homeless Man Omits Slap in Arrest Report


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Rep. Katie Edwards Files Bill to Reform How Florida Prosecutes Juveniles as Adults

Categories: Crime

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via Facebook
Some say Florida's juvenile laws are too strict.
Florida leads the nation in charging juveniles as adults -- a result of the state's controversial Direct File law, which gives prosecutors the power to charge juveniles as adults whenever they choose. Experts say this unchecked power causes myriad problems, ranging from extreme sentences to forced pleas -- and Rep. Katie Edwards, a Plantation Democrat, wants to change that.

"The only ones that are hesitant to join in this reform effort are the prosecutors because, quite frankly, they're the ones who hold all the cards and don't want to give up that power," Edwards tells New Times.

The Sunshine State has long been criticized for having an archaic system when it comes to dealing with juvenile offenders. Several organizations, including Human Rights Watch, which issued a 110-page report on Florida's Direct File practice, have singled out Florida for treating kids in the criminal justice system as adults. In fact, the HRW report is what inspired Edwards to file HB 783.

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Florida School Arrests Down, But Still Disproportionately Affect Black Youth

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via Open Society Foundations/Steve Liss
School arrests are down, but are still disproportionate according to race.
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has released its annual Delinquency in Schools report, and there's some good news: School arrests are down across the state, including Broward and Palm Beach counties. The bad news: black youths are proportionately arrested most in nearly every single county in Florida.

DJJ's report documents the numbers of every school arrest in every county, including race and alleged crime. School arrests include an arrest of a youth on school grounds, school bus or bus stop, and school events. The DJJ has been providing this annual report to the public for the past five years, and it shows that there has been a steady decrease in arrests over that time.

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Nicholas Brendan AKA "Xander from Buffy" Arrested in Lauderdale for Not Paying Hotel Bill

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Photo by RavenU via Wikipedia Commons
Brendon (right) with Anthony Stewart Head at the 2004 Oakland Super SlayerCon.
TV actor Nicholas Brendan was hanging out at Shock Pop Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale when, at some point, he decided to take things up a few levels and show those comic nerds how real deal celebs party down -- and then he ended up behind bars for not paying his tab.

Brendan, an actor on Criminal Minds but probably best-known for his role as Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was arrested at the Fort Lauderdale Hilton Monday for felony grand theft after refusing to pay the $350 room service tab, as well as an extra $450 for damages to his hotel room, according to TMZ. But give Brendon a break -- he probably couldn't really grasp the situation since police had to wake him up from a drunken slumber from inside a hotel employee's office, where he allegedly passed out after partying like an 80's rock star.

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Vanilla Ice Arrested for Stealing Pool Heater From a Foreclosed Home

Categories: Crime

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Photo by George Martinez/gmartnx.com
Stop. Collaborate and get some bail money.

Once he stole bass lines from Queen and David Bowie. Now he's nabbing pool heaters.

Palm Beach County's Robert Van Winkle -- or Vanilla Ice to all you '90s nostalgia junkies -- apparently hasn't hung up the thug life. The 47-year-old was arrested by Lantana Police for a residential burglary, according to a release from the department.


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Riviera Beach Cops Raid 89-Year-Old Woman's House for Drugs, Find Nothing, Leave Big Mess

Categories: Crime

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smallman12q/wikimedia
Maybe somebody made a wrong turn?
Riviera Beach Police busted into a home by shooting out the front windows and throwing a flash-bang grenade before pointing a gun at the homeowner in search of drugs and money. But turns out, they got the wrong house.

And the woman whose house they broke into and held at gunpoint was 89 years old.

Don't worry -- it gets weirder.

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Father of Hollywood Love Triangle Murder Suspect Arrested in Heroin Bust

Categories: Crime

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Last summer, we brought you a sad tragedy from the streets of Hollywood involving a love triangle involving a gang-banging drug dealer, a young woman, and the struggling MMA-fighter they allegedly murdered.

Now, there's a coda to the murder of Michael Rivera. The father of the man police say pulled the trigger on New Jersey native was recently swept up in a heroin bust. Unfortunately, if the charges pan out, it's a case of like father, like son: Before his arrest in the Rivera killing, 18-year-old Alex Cabrera was also linked to the Hollywood heroin trade.

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