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.
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.
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.