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Man arrested and accused of trespassing at work
Imagine heading in to work for the day and wondering if you're about to be arrested, for no good reason.
A man in Miami Gardens, Florida says that's been a daily reality for him for years.
Now, he's fighting back.
This surveillance video shows Earl Sampson being detained in a Miami Gardens, Florida convenience store and then led away.
Sampson was arrested 27 times at this convenience store and convicted of trespassing.
He's been detained many times more. There is says Sampson and the store owner, a bit of a problem here. You see, Sampson works at the store.
He spoke with CNN affiliate WFOR. "They always stop me, going through my pockets, asking for my id, my name."
In all, Sampson has been stopped and or arrested at various places 288 times.
A year and a half ago, store owner Ali Saleh decided he had enough so he installed the surveillance cameras.
Over and over again Saleh says his cameras recorded police stopping and frisking and detaining not only his employees but customers too.
"I feel abused. I believe I live in America and America has a constitution to protect its citizens."
Saleh, Sampson and several local residents this week filed a Federal lawsuit against the City, the Mayor and the Police Chief, charging Civil Rights violations.
The suit reads in part:
"MGPD officers have used, and continue to use, race and/or national origin for the purpose of stopping, frisking, searching, seizing and arresting principally black males."
Before the suit was filed, Miami Gardens police issued a statement to local news stations saying they are investigating the allegations and that they take seriously complaints against their officers.
During the past couple of years, Miami Gardens has been going through a rash of shootings and killings.
The store sits in a high crime area. It's not clear whether it's being singled out more than others, and if so, why. The City's Mayor says there's a zero tolerance policy.
"He knows his store is a source of problems in the community. He knows that we're trying to clean-up that community."
"Its say on the car you're supposed to protect and serve but you're not protecting and serving, you're harassing."
The lawsuit seeks a change in City policy and financial compensation for Sampson, Ali and the other plaintiffs.
According to the suit if you took all 288 times Sampson's s been detained and or arrested, that amounts to about once a week for the past 4 plus years.