During a popular event in South Beach in 2011, 22-year-old Raymond Herisse was gunned down by police officers who fired a reported 116 rounds. Two years later, the family of Herisse and four bystanders who were wounded are still awaiting answers from officials and the Miami-Dade County state attorney.
A New York Times report delves into the details, revealing that Miami Beach and Hileah police were involved although it is still unclear why the officers opened fired on the vehicle.
Herisse was in South Beach on May 30 for Urban Beach Week, a Hip-Hop event that officials have had concerns with.
A video from a witness show Hileah officers attempting to slow down Herisse’s car after a few gunshots were heard. Later, figures approach the vehicle and fire a barrage of shots into the Hyundai.
The Herisse family has not been shy in expressing their disdain. “I was outraged,” said Charline Herisse, the victim’s sister. “Because in my head I was thinking, ‘How could this be possible?’”
In the two years since the police conducted their investigation, the case was handed over to Miami-Dade County state attorney, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle in May. Twelve officers were involved; eight from Miami Beach, and four from Hileah. Ms. Fernandez-Rundle will determine if the officers used excessive force in the shooting.
Herisse had a criminal past that his family says should not factor in the investigation. At the time, he did not have any outstanding warrants. However, a handgun was found inside Herisse’s Hyundai by Miami Beach police although it was not initially reported.
Police say that Herisse was allegedly driving erratically, nearly hitting police officers the morning of the shooting. Later reports found that Herisse was legally drunk when the police shot him. One of the bystanders still has a bullet lodged near their heart.
If Herisse did reach for his gun or appeared to, the president of the Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police, Alex Bello, says that the officers responded properly. The Herisse family’s attorney is helping shape a wrongful-death lawsuit and voiced his client’s displeasure.
“They have to justify 116 bullets shot into a crowd of hundreds of people.” said Marwan E. Porter. “They also shot four innocent people, who luckily are alive but could be dead.”
Watching the video of Herisse’s shooting below. A warning: the clip is violent.
Photo: Herisse Family