NMPD: And the hits just keep on comin’ (UPDATED: Haitian Creole and Spanish translations posted)

North Miami Assistant Police Chief Larry Juriga thought he was so clever when he conspired with his cronies to frame Commander Emile Hollant for the shooting of Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man with his hands up.

City Manager Larry Spring thought he was so clever when, in an overzealous rush to judgment, he decided to announce at a press conference that he suspended Commander Hollant without pay before learning all the facts at his disposal.

Councilman Scott Galvin thought he was so clever when he hogged the microphone at that presser to publicly chastise the Commander, claiming he “totally violated his trust from the public to protect and serve,” and then told a Channel 10 reporter that Hollant didn’t deserve an apology even though he was cleared of all wrongdoing by the State Attorney’s Office.

Internal Affairs Sergeant Diana Roman though she was so clever when she conducted an investigation against Commander Hollant and encouraged witnesses to lie about his involvement in the shooting.

City Attorney Jeff Cazeau thought he was oh so clever when he smugly announced during his report at the October 24, 2017 meeting (hour 1:11:40) that “the case that Commander Emile Hollant filed against the city with the Miami-Dade Commission on Human Rights was dismissed,” and then quickly waved his hand as he mumbled, “He still has an opportunity to file a lawsuit if you like.”

Well, sir.  Commander Emile Hollant did like.

In fact, yesterday he did just that.

In a Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial filed with the United States District Court, Plaintiff Emile Hollant has sued the City of North Miami, City Manager Larry Spring, Assistant Chief Larry Juriga, Councilman Scott Galvin and Sergeant Diana Roman for falsely accusing him of “lying about his whereabouts when the shots were fired, and that he was not present at the time of shooting.”

As a result of this conspiracy, the Commander’s lawsuit alleges that, despite being cleared of all wrongdoing by the State Attorney’s Office and the FDLE, he “has been on a virtual house arrest for over 16 months,” which “constitutes an adverse action as that term is defined by the United States Supreme Court in that it has the practical effect of ending his law enforcement career and subjects him to humiliation.”

Furthermore, the Complaint alleges that “Commander Hollant’s treatment by the City was motivated by invidious racism practiced by an old guard in the Police Department, led by Larry Jurigia, Jr., who have not accepted the Haitian-American presence in the City.”

To make matters worse, when City Manager Larry Spring publicly trashed Commander Hollant at a Community Council Forum last July, he “cast a disparaging cloud over Commander Hollant’s reputation.”

And that’s just for starters.

The lawsuit also briefly mentions a second Internal Affairs Investigation initiated by Diana Roman.  Here are the details:

On July 24, 2017, Commander Hollant notified Diana Roman that he intended to give a statement to the State Attorney’s Office later that week.

On July 25, 2017, the very next day, she retaliated by notifying him that he was now the subject of Internal Affairs Case #17-01 for allegedly  “Speaking to the Media.”

This case was allegedly  initiated by the now-fired former Chief Gary Eugene on February 3, 2017, who was the only person “interviewed” with respect to this case.  Roman, however, never interviewed Eugene personally, but relied wholly on his FDLE interview of July 28, 2016.

Ironically, when City Manager Larry Spring fired Gary Eugene, he listed as one of the reasons for his firing that Eugene “made conflicting statements in his sworn testimony.”

And yet, Sergeant Roman had absolutely no problem using those very same “conflicting statements in his sworn testimony” as evidence in both of the Internal Affairs investigations she initiated against Commander Hollant.

Logically speaking, either Eugene’s testimony was “conflicting” enough to get him fired, OR  it was valid enough to use as evidence against Hollant.

But it cannot be both.

If Gary Eugene’s words were impeachable enough for him to be fired, how can they be used as a basis for another investigation against the Commander?

If Eugene’s words were appropriate enough to use as evidence of wrongdoing by Hollant, wouldn’t Eugene still have his job?

This isn’t rocket science, Diana.  Get it together already!

Oddly, after Sergeant Roman went through all the trouble to open a second IA investigation against Hollant, this new case was mysteriously closed fifteen days later by none other than Assistant Chief Larry Juriga, whose outright lies  about Emile Hollant were the sole reason for the Commander’s lawsuit against the city in the first place!

Because of the outrageous conduct of City Manager Spring, Assistant Chief Juriga, Councilman Galvin and Sergeant Roman, which was deliberately “intended to inflict harm” on the Commander, he is suing all of them for acting “in bad faith, with malicious purpose, and in a manner exhibiting wanton and reckless disregard of Plaintiff’s civil rights, safety and property.”

In fact, the lawsuit further alleges, “Such conduct by the Defendants were so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.  As a direct and proximate result of the negligence acts, as alleged herein, the Plaintiff suffered injury, which resulted in pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, inconvenience, care, and treatment, loss of earnings, and loss of the ability to earn money in the future.”

In case you’re wondering how much Commander Hollant’s severe emotional and physical distress could potentially cost taxpayers, he’s asking the U.S. District Court for a “judgment for damages against the City of North Miami, Florida, including five million dollars ($5,000,000.00) in compensatory damages, along with punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other available relief as the Court deems just and proper.”

But no worries.

North Miami city officials want you to vote for a multi-million dollar bond to fix stuff.

Yeah, that should cover it.

This new lawsuit is the third filed as a result of a shooting that never should have happened by a North Miami Police Officer who never should have been hired.

Saving the best for last…

Commander Hollant’s lawsuit is brought to you by the Legal Beagle Dream Team of Michael Pizzi and Ben Keuhne!

Time to break out that popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show.

Stephanie

(Klike la a pou tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen)

(Haga clic aquí para la traducción al inglés)

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7 Comments

  1. Leo Fernandez Sr. says:

    Totally rooting for Commander Hollant, and all defendants should he held liable, disbarred if attorney, certificate pulled if a law enforcement officer, without any pensions… The residents of North Miami have suffered and paid enough for the incompetence of the leaders and should really clean house on the next elections… The city deserves better than a keystone cops police department and corrupt politicians…
    Got my popcorn ready…
    Let the games begin…

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      BOOM!

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  2. IslaFire says:

    Pizzi and Keuhne is a dream team. Love it. I don’t know Ben but I know Mike and he has always been a straight guy. His brash, NY style got him in trouble in SoFla where the accents are different. But I do think he had the best interests of the citizens of Miami Lakes in mind.

    I’ve worked alongside Commander Hollant when he was on the street. In my experiences with him, I have always seen him as a professional police officer in my interactions with him.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Big Ben’s reputation precedes him. I’ve made fun of him in previous blogs, but not because he’s a bad attorney. On the contrary, he’s a brilliant barrister. I’m just not thrilled with some of his clients (i.e., NMB Commissioncritter Frantz Pierre, NMB EX-Mayor/Convicted Felon Myron Rosner, to name a few). Mike Pizzi is also an extraordinary pit bull of a lawyer, and I am confident he will get the justice Commander Hollant so richly deserves. It’s my hope he will finally be vindicated!

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  3. Carline Andre says:

    I’m happy the ball is finally rolling in the commanders favor. The city of North Miami is finally being held accountable for their lies and Corruption. I’ve been watching this unravel and it was scary to see them try to plant this on Commander Hollant and for it to drag on so long. Juriga And Spring were more focused on demonizing this man than they were on investigating the truth. Let’s not forget that aledda was suspended with pay and Hollant without pay from the beginning. SMH.

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  4. cruz says:

    please explain this bond issue they are going to stuff down our throats.
    so the city cannot wait till next August to budget it. now a referendum is going to be created to get this bond created.
    are we the people going to physically vote at tghe polls or are they going to also implement mail in ballots and you know where I’m going with t his.
    is the money going to be used for water lines that supply other cities, any of this money going tyo be earmarked for tyhe pending litigations created by this new staff that claims they have nothing to do with the old audit, yet are in the process of creating even more issues that will be audited in the future. they are resolving to issues and creating 20 more as they resolve the past ones.
    my pony in this race is simply that I live in this city and my grandchildren will not be able to pay this bill.
    I say let’s stop the bond, let’s create a movement called no to the bond! and let the council vote next year in raising the household tax instead.
    there is no transparency here…
    say no to the bond movement.
    this needs to go to the Haitian population as well as the Hispanic.
    I ask RA to unite in forming this movement. say no to t he North Miami Bond. we’re talking about $120 million dollars and they are not telling us clearly how this money is going to be used.

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  5. Repulsed says:

    This city Council doesn’t give a damn about what’s right because they are actually considering making Larry Juriga chief of police. They don’t care if there is peace within the police department , confidence within the department, or honesty within the department. This city has become so pathetic!

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