Miami “March 17, 2015
The Miami-Dade State Attorney`s Office has released an 86 page final report relating to the May 30, 2011 fatal shooting of Raymond Herisse. The report provides extensive information relating to the variety of different crime scenes extending from the initial police contact at the 1600 block of Collins Avenue to the final incident at the intersection of 13th and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. Contained in the report are 62 witness summaries (32 civilian witnesses and 30 police officers) which provide a picture of the entire stream of events which ended with the shooting of Raymond Herisse.
As is done with the release of every report on a fatal police shooting, the Miami-Dade State Attorney`s Office will be forwarding this report to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for their review.
The report can be accessed from the following location:
Below is a short summary of the report.
On May 30, 2011, at approximately 3:50am, during the Memorial Day Urban Beach weekend, a Hialeah Police Officer, conducting a traffic stop in the 1600 block of Collins Avenue, attempted to arrest a driver for failure to obey lawful commands. While fleeing the scene the driver, Raymond Herisse struck the officer and fled southbound on Collins Avenue at a high rate of speed in the northbound lane. Officers in the 1500 block of Collins Avenue fired at the vehicle in an attempt to prevent any injury to persons in the area. As Herisse drove south on Collins Avenue, he crashed into multiple occupied automobiles, at times driving on the crowded sidewalks. Herisse also attempted to run over uniform police officers on bicycles who were forced to jump over barricades to avoid being struck. Herrise ran over the bicycles moments after the officers jumped off. Officers in the 1400 block of Collins Avenue also fired at Herisse to try to stop him from hitting them or anyone else in the area. Unfortunately, because of the crowd of people who were in the area, three (3) civilian bystanders sustained gunshot injuries as a result of the police actions during this incident.
Herisse`s vehicle, a Hyundai, came to a stop at the intersection of 13th and Collins Avenue. Although the vehicle stopped, Herisse did not turn off the engine. Further, the off and on flashing of the brake lights indicated that the brake pedal was repeatedly being pressed and released. Prior police radio transmissions to officers in the area indicated that Herisse had struck another officer, shots had been fired, and that he was fleeing at a high rate of speed. Gunshots were audible throughout the area, but the officers at 13th Street did not know who was actually doing all of the shooting. Approximately one minute after Herisse fled down Collins Avenue striking civilian cars, attempting to run over police officers, with shots being fired, the source being unknown, police officers surrounded the Sonata and commanded Herisse to stop moving and exit the vehicle for their protection. Herisse did not comply with these commands and continued moving inside the vehicle, including a downward motion in what the officers would have reasonably perceived to be a threat. Upon seeing these movements by Herisse inside the vehicle, several police officers discharged their weapons numerous times at the Herisse fatally wounding him. A fully loaded 9mm firearm that was reported stolen in West Palm Beach in 2009 was found wrapped in a T-shirt on the rear passenger floorboard of the vehicle.
As with the other shooting event, a civilian was severely injured during this last shooting.
Herisse was later found to have a blood alcohol content of .14. It was also subsequently determined that Herisse had a suspended driver`s license.
The statutes applicable to the use of deadly force by police officers are ss. 776.05 and 776.012. These statutes permit an officer to use deadly force when the officer believes it is necessary to defend him or herself or another from bodily harm while making an arrest, when necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice, or when the officer reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.
The courts have recognized that especially trained law enforcement officers, take risks when they think they are called upon to prevent imminent harm to person or property. Efforts to prevent such harm sometimes cause injury to the officers or to bystanders. McClamma v. State, 138 So. 3d 578, 585-86 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014).
In each of the different shooting incidents, the evidence points to the conclusion that the officers did not commit a criminal act and were justified in the use of the deadly force they reasonably believed to be necessary to defend themselves from bodily harm or using while attempting to arrest Mr. Herisse, who was a fleeing from the commission of multiple felonies.
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