Last night Channel 7 reported an incident in which a Biscayne Park Police Officer responded to a call involving domestic violence, which resulted in his repeatedly striking the mentally ill subject, Shawna Yuen, and giving her a black eye. Reporter Rosh Lowe noted that “one of their police officers repeatedly struck a woman suffering from schizophrenia after she grabbed him by his private parts.”
Ms. Yuen’s mother called the police when her daughter threw something at her during a fight. Channel 7 reported, “According to a Biscayne Park Police report, the male officer arrived alone. Shawna ran from the home, and at that point, the mother told the officer, ‘Her daughter suffered from schizophrenia and sometimes refuses to take her medication,’ the police report said.”
When the officer approached Shawna in a tool shed, she allegedly grabbed him by the testicles, after which he “struck the defendant several times in the face area.”
She was eventually was booked by Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Yeah, that should work out well.
Even before he beat the crap out of the subject, the officer’s first mistake was responding to a domestic violence call by himself.
According to Policemag.com:
“A domestic violence assignment is never one to be handled solo. It is as simple as that. Too many officers have already died trying. A number of them had backup coming, but failed to wait for it to arrive before going into action. Very few had to act immediately in order to save a life. They simply chose to. Some of them died in the process.
All of the things that make a domestic violence call so dangerous—the frequent presence of emotions, alcohol, possible weapons—also dictate the absolute need for one or more backups to be on-scene before you tackle the problems you find there.”
There is also protocol for police officers who respond to calls when the subject has mental health issues.
For example, in the aftermath of the shooting last summer involving a North Miami police officer and the caregiver of an autistic man, every NMPD officer had to attend Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
The National Institutes of Health describes this program as “as a collaborative approach to safely and effectively address the needs of persons with mental illnesses, link them to appropriate services, and divert them from the criminal justice system if appropriate.”
An article published in the institute’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), describes the nature of the problem as:
“Calls involving persons experiencing mental health crises can be particularly problematic for police officers. Surveys of officers suggest that they do not feel adequately trained to effectively respond to mental health crises, that mental health calls are very time-consuming and divert officers from other crime fighting activities, and that mental health providers are not very responsive (Cooper, McLearen & Zapf, 2004; Vermette, Pinals & Appelbuam, 2005; Wells & Schafer, 2006). Officers perceive mental health related calls as very unpredictable and dangerous, which without adequate training in de-escalation, could inadvertently cause them to approach in a manner which escalates the situation (Ruiz, 1993; Ruiz & Miller, 2004). As media reports confirm, on rare occasions, mental health related calls do end in horrible tragedies, with officers or persons with mental illness being seriously or fatally wounded.”
Why the Biscayne Park officer responded to the scene alone is still a complete mystery. Although the Village has only a handful of cops on its payroll, there are mutual aid agreements with departments in several neighboring cities, such as North Miami, Miami Shores, El Portal and Miami-Dade County. In fact, the City of North Miami is literally across the street from Biscayne Park.
When the Biscayne Park cop finally did call North Miami for backup, they showed up wearing their brand spanking new body-worn cameras. What might be revealed on those videos is still a mystery since, as Rosh Lowe reported, as of last night the City of North Miami has yet to respond to his public records request.
This should not surprise anyone.
For one thing, sources have told me that the Biscayne Park officer who responded to the call was a former commander in the North Miami Police Department by the name of Pedro J. Dominguez, a/k/a Pete Dominguez.
For the uninitiated, Pete Dominguez is a bona fide member of North Miami Assistant Chief Larry Juriga’s “Illuminati.”
In fact, we are told they both recently went on vacation to Africa together.
They go waaaaay back.
Sources have also told me that Dominguez was only hired by Biscayne Park within the last month and that Larry Juriga helped him get the gig.
There is absolutely no way “Bucket head chup” and “Da boyz” are gonna let their good buddy go down without a fight.
This should be interesting.
In the meantime, we made our own public records request from the Village of Biscayne Park for Pete Dominguez’ personnel information, including his background check, whether or not he has received Crisis Intervention training, and other information. We have also requested copies of the incident report, arrest affidavit, body-worn camera videos and correspondences between Biscayne Park and North Miami regarding this incident.
For good measure, we also made a public records request from the City of North Miami for copies of their body-worn camera videos.
I’m sure both municipalities will jump right on it.
As always, we will keep you posted on this evolving story.