Oscar Julien-Riou just wanted some time alone to gather his thoughts about significant changes in his life recently when he was confronted by a Miami police officer who arrested him on false charges.
Miami police officer Ionnies Llanes first claimed the public park where Julien-Riou had been sitting was closed but the sign listing park rules makes no mention of hours of operation.
Llanes then accused Julien-Riou of throwing something on the ground, insinuating he had dumped illegal drugs, which is why he had probable cause to slam the black man to the ground and handcuff him.
But nothing illegal was found on the ground the night of December 10, 2018.
Nevertheless, Llanes still transported Julien-Riou to jail on a charge of resisting arrest, which was dismissed by prosecutors in February.
But only because of the video. Otherwise it would have been the cop's word against his word, which generally results in an instant conviction.
Now Julien-Riou, a 63-year-old minister and army veteran who had recently retired as a nurse from the Veterans Administration and who had never been arrested, is suing.
According to the Miami New Times:
In April, Julien-Riou held a news conference alongside his lawyer Rawsi Williams and Miami-Dade NAACP President Ruban Roberts. They demanded action from the police department and indicated they planned to sue MPD over the incident. Yesterday Julien-Riou formally filed a false-arrest lawsuit against the department.
"Mr. Riou is a retired Vietnam veteran who had recently retired from his job as a registered nurse after 20 years,
subsequent to retiring from the Army after 20 years of service," the suit states. "He volunteers at the V.A. playing the piano for Veterans in palliative care. He’d never been arrested in his 63 years of life."
But then Officer Llanes needlessly threw Julien-Riou to the ground and arrested him for resisting an officer without violence. In February, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office dropped its charges against Julien-Riou after viewing the video.
"Defendant Llanes used unreasonable and excessive force against Plaintiff Mr. Riou when he forcibly pushed/threw him down to the concrete, manhandled him in such a way as to cause physical injury, searched him without consent, called other officers to the scene to physically apply unreasonable and excessive force in reliance on his call, forcibly put him in handcuffs when he was already under the physical control of the Defendant, detained him for over an hour, and created a criminal record for Mr. Riou by falsely charging him with resisting arrest," the suit says. (MPD does not comment on active litigation.)
The cop will no doubt claim he was in fear for his life but the video shows Julien-Riou was trying to comply with his unlawful orders when the cop slammed him to the ground.
"I was scared for my life" as police "descended on me like S.W.A.T.! I was thinking they could kill me and my children would never have known what happened to me," he said, according to his attorney's website.
Below is the full video posted by his attorney's office. Above is the shortened edited video.