Mixed in with the murder suspect, the man was approached by Fort Lauderdale officers. He pursues

A man, mistaken for a murder suspect, was shoved by a group of Fort Lauderdale officers after getting off a county bus nearly a year ago. He is now suing the officers involved – two of whom were also named in another lawsuit accusing them of excessive use of force during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest.

Errol Leath, 34, alleges that the city of Fort Lauderdale and police officers Eliezer Ramos, Steven Smith, Eduardo Requejo, Michael Lopinot, Todd Hill and Matthew Emala were negligent when they ambushed him for no reason on June 19. July 2023, according to a lawsuit filed May 30 in Broward Circuit Court

Ramos and Smith were involved in a federal lawsuit filed last week accusing police of deploying tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters who gathered on May 31, 2020, to demand justice for George Floyd, a black man killed a few days earlier by a white police officer. officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s killing sparked the largest protests for racial justice in the United States since the civil rights movement – and spearheaded thousands of Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country.

READ MORE: ‘Your rights have been violated’: BLM protesters sue Fort Lauderdale cops for brutal crackdown

In the filing, attorney Robert Rogers said Leath “was brought into public scandal, and with great humiliation, mental suffering and a tarnished reputation” after being accosted at a bus stop by police officers. the department’s fugitive unit. The lawsuit also claimed the city failed to properly train officers, including how to implement a tactical plan, identify the correct suspect and use only the minimum force necessary.

Similar allegations regarding the department’s training protocols came to light in the protesters’ lawsuit.

“[Fort Lauderdale] knew of the hazardous conditions, or they had existed long enough that [the city] should have discovered them by exercising reasonable diligence, or [the city] created unsafe conditions,” Rogers states in the filing.

Officers began following Leath, who cannot drive because of epilepsy, when he got on the bus near Northwest 24th Street in Lauderdale Lakes, according to the suit. They suspected Leath of being Daenon Malik King, a man wanted for murder.

They followed the bus in unmarked cars, parking the vehicles around the bus when it stopped near 2912 N State Road 7, the filing states. That’s when they got out of the cars, armed and wearing tactical gear. The officers then pointed their guns at Leath and others who were getting off the bus.

“You look like him”

The police did not identify themselves and, weapons drawn, shouted “Hey! There you are” facing the crowd, according to the lawsuit.

At that point, Leath, who lawyers say had no reason to believe police were looking for him, “began running away from police weapons because he believed he was in danger from a other individual in the area. “…

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