Miami Beach

Court Rules in Favor of Man Struck by Miami Beach Cop During 2017 Arrest

Richard Johnson able to bring civil lawsuit against MBPD

NBC Universal, Inc.

A federal appeals court ruled there was enough evidence that a Miami Beach police officer used excessive force while arresting a man who was later convicted for dealing drugs.

"The first time, but they didn't listen to me. Now that the court of appeals had to listen to me, now this case has been reversed," Richard Johnson said.

Johnson was arrested for selling drugs and for resisting arrest in Miami Beach and went to prison for two years for his drug charges.

"The video unambiguously shows that Mr. Johnson was not threatening any officers, he wasn't trying to run away, he was being pushed backwards into a cell," said Johnson's attorney in the appellate court hearing in November.

Miami Beach police officials reprimanded two of the officers for not activating their body cameras. But the internal affairs investigation did not find that any of the officers used excessive force. 

Five years later, Johnson says his life is now very different. He's out of prison, going to school to be an air conditioner technician, and is living a good life. 

"Justice just needed to be served and what was right was right and what was wrong was wrong, and he was wrong for what he did," he said after the court decision.

Now, Johnson is working with civil attorneys to possibly bring a lawsuit against Miami Beach police.

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