A Hispanic family residing in Opa-Locka announced that it will file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against this city, for the violent arrest of a 19-year-old boy who, according to his lawyer, has mental problems.
The arrest was recorded on video by the body camera of an Opa-Locka police officer and can be seen when several officers forcibly arrest the young man, even using tasers to control him.
The young man’s family, identified as Jafet Castro, will take legal action against the city and the Police Department, for assault and use of excessive force. The demand amounts to 5 million dollars.
The events occurred on September 21 when the officers arrived at 2544 and York Street in Opa-Locka, after receiving an emergency call, in which a person indicated that they did not know if the young man had used drugs because he was very aggressive with his relatives and had to tie him up.
The arrest would have turned violent when the young man resisted and the police used different protocols for more than 10 minutes. But the family considers that they were excessive.
Michael Pizzi, the young man’s lawyer, indicates in the lawsuit that Castro, 19, has a mental disability and was brutally beaten.
For its part, the city of Opa-Locka published a statement in which it alludes to what happened.
“The City of Opa-Locka is committed to open and honest transparency regarding its government and law enforcement affairs. In this case, Mr. Castro experienced a mental health emergency and it was our duty to control the situation and make sure he received the services he required, ”the statement said.
The city added that after his arrest, Jafed Castro was taken to a South Florida hospital, where doctors determined he was under the influence of dangerous drugs.