"We Didn't Find Anything"

Did Husien Shehada have a bottle or coat hanger under his shirt when he was shot and killed by police?

By Carlos Miller
|  Sunday, Aug 2, 2009  |  Updated 9:57 PM EDT
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Shehada Audio 427

Husien, left, and Samer were not only brothers, but they were best friends.

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Shehada Audio 417

Audio recorded by Samer Shehada's cell phone minutes after his brother, Husien, was killed by police.

Shehada Audio 427

Audio recorded by Samer Shehada's cell phone minutes after his brother, Husien, was killed by police.
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In the moments after a Miami Beach police officer shot and killed his unarmed brother last month, Samer Shehada’s cell phone inexplicably began recording a series of audio clips.

The first one is the most chilling, revealing Samer’s blood-curdling pleas for his brother as police try to place him in custody.

His brother, Husien, was laying motionless on the sidewalk after having been shot at least twice by Officer Adam Tavss – who shot and killed another man four days later.

“Please make him move … Husien! Husien!"

“That’s my brother!”

“Why did you all shoot him?”

Sirens are wailing as police tell Samer to “get in the car! … get your ass in the car! …. Get the f*ck back!”

In another clip, after Samer has been placed in the back of a squad car, a conversation, apparently between two officers, can be heard.

“You sure it was the same dude?”

“We didn’t find anything.”

Then Samer says, “We ain’t got nothing on us, man. We was just walking the street, man.”

John Contini, attorney for the Shehada family, says this clip proves that police were lying when they said the brothers were carrying a wooden coat hanger and a green beer bottle to give the impression that they were packing weapons. Or at least lying when they said Husien was carrying something.

Just over a week ago, police released a second video that shows one of the Shehada brothers apparently had something under his shirt as well as audio clips of the 911 calls of people reporting a man with a machine gun. It appears to have been a coat hanger. Contini acknowledges it was Samer.

Contini says the audio recordings on Samer’s cell phone were a freak accident because there was no way Shehada could have purposely reached into his pocket to begin recording in the madness that ensued, which can be clearly heard on the audio.

Contini sent a total of 26 audio clips, each about 90 seconds. Samer can be heard crying, praying and pleading in several of the clips, but the most telling are the clips posted on the left side, which were apparently recorded at 4:17 a.m. and 4:27 a.m.

The Shehada brothers came down from Virginia with their girlfriends on vacation. Husien was killed after a day of shopping and visiting sites and a night of clubbing.

Contini is also representing the family of the second man shot by police four days later, Lawrence McCoy, who was killed after he had allegedly carjacked a taxi.

Police initially said McCoy was killed after he opened fire on police, but police now say there was no gun on him after the shooting. They also say they recovered a gun in the waters off the MacArthur Causeway, which is where he was killed.

Contini said McCoy was shot nine times with the autopsy showing mostly defensive wounds.

“He was shot in the back, in the forearms, in the armpits, in the face,” Contini said. “Those are all defensive wounds as if someone is cowering in a defensive position.”

“Both men were unarmed, both died horrific deaths and both shootings were inexcusable,” Contini said.

Carlos Miller is the weekend editor at NBCMiami as well as a senior editor at Miami Beach 411. He also operates the blog Photography is Not a Crime.
 

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