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"Harlem Shake" Shoot in Hialeah Goes Horribly Wrong

via YouTube
At first Banana Republican was torn. We didn't know whether to curse or congratulate a gaggle of Hialeah police officers who trampled an impromptu "Harlem Shake" video shoot. Do we side with the two dozen young shakers, including a man dressed in a banana suit, who gathered in front of the "Welcome to Hialeah" sign to take their shot at YouTube stardom? Or do we side with the fuzz who put the kibosh on the most overplayed meme on the planet?

It was a tough call until we learned that the cops ended up snatching cellphones from two young men who tried to film them telling the crowd to scatter.

The trouble began with a Facebook post by Dax Sotero, a Miami-Dade County Public Schools substitute teacher. "I think it's about time we show the world how to do the Harlem Shake Hialeah style," Sotero wrote, while inviting everyone to convene February 24 at the Hialeah sign at West 84th Street and 12th Avenue. "Make sure to bring some crazy costumes and be ready for an epic Harlem Shake."

On the day of the shake, all was going according to plan until 2:34 p.m., when Sotero posted, "Already got the intro scene done. Now just need everyone to show up and go crazy!!!!!!!"

Things got crazy, all right. Soon after that post, six Hialeah cops in three patrol cars and a brown undercover Crown Victoria, sirens and lights blaring, sped to the scene. The po-po ordered the crowd to disperse because it was disrupting traffic, according to a police report. Then they zeroed in on Florida International University student Eric Faden, who was filming the officers.

The cops say Faden turned to a sergeant "in a threatening manner." When the sergeant grabbed Faden's left arm to place him under arrest, Faden allegedly resisted and was thrown to the ground and cuffed along with his friend Dee Dee Wright and another would-be dancer. He was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest without violence.

In the wake of the Hialeah "Harlem Shake" shutdown, the participants went on Facebook to accuse the cops of beating up Faden because he tried to film them with his cell-phone camera. "We where [sic] all witnesses. Everyone saw how they fucked up his face afterwards when he fell," Felix Yoel Garcia Rodriguez wrote. "And it is not illegal to record an officer if you don't have intentions on releasing and trying to harm the person, plus we were out in a public place."

Faden says when he and Wright were being detained at the Hialeah Police substation at McDonald Park before being booked into county jail, the sergeant impounded their phones into evidence because he refused to grant the cop permission to see what he had recorded. "He told my friend that I was trying to make things worse for him and that he should tell me to allow him to access my phone," Faden alleges. "Then he took me into an interrogation room and kept asking me why I was trespassing and why I resisted arrest. I pleaded the Fifth."

The following morning, at Faden's bail hearing, both charges were dropped. Later in the day, he says, he returned to the substation to ask the sergeant if he would release his phone since the case was closed. "He tells me I could have had my phone had I allowed him to look through it," Faden claims. "He said, 'you did this to yourself.'"

An unfazed Faden says he told the cop, "you had no reason to arrest me for trespassing because I was on public property. You threw me to the ground and hit me on the back of the head." He alleges the sergeant brushed him off.

Since then, Faden -- vice chairman of the Miami-Dade Libertarian Party and a political science major -- hired attorney Jose "Pepe" Herrera to get his phone back. "They messed with the wrong guy," Faden says. "I think it's ridiculous the Hialeah police is focusing on going after kids shooting a 'Harlem Shake' video."

Herrera accuses the Hialeah police officers of violating Faden's First and Fourth Amendment rights. "These kids were doing something in a public forum that they had a right to do," Herrera says. "The charges were totally fabricated. People have a right to video tape and photograph events as they are occurring."

A Hialeah PD spokesman failed to respond to a request for comment.

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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24 comments
JoelFranco
JoelFranco

I did the Harlem Shake at Dolphin Mall and just like you guys, the police knew about the event page and was already there patrolling the mall when I arrived. I say we all peaceably assemble at the Hialeah sign once again and do this. Fuck the police, we know our rights. I'm down. 

DigitalFire
DigitalFire

Now its time to do a Harlem Shake again... But this time in front of the hialeah police depo.


internetinternet
internetinternet

Make sure you don't need a permit to film in public.  Police can charge you with anything.  By the time you are done fighting it you will be broke. 

phantascy
phantascy

if this were to go to trail. this cop would automatically plead "that he doesn't Recall" also Repeat how many years he's been an officer & what year he graduate from the academy.

it sickens me When citizens know's there rights yet When Corrupted officials Mainly Miami dade judges Would Seriously Bend over To receive Any Penetrated Evidence Verbally from these filthy Uneducated pigs.
You know whats going to Happend if this Goes viral Hialeah Pd will send those "Narcissistic Gestapo's" to leave with Paid vacations &  a Promotion after laying low from the scene To Convince FOX NEWS & CHANNEL 7 watchers.
("Hey you see we did a good job...
nevermind what your subconscious tells you.
cause your wrong otherwise to think negatively of how stupid & Fabricated our report sounds").
Thats makes so much sense when people Start " paying attention " to there criminal power hungry abusive ways.
They treat themselves cause they know automatically know The court has there back.
And they would pend the investigation intil the news becomes old & fades of the radar.
Thats when a murderer stretches the amount of appeals to than get lucky to be sent to jail instead of sentence to death.
When will Miami citizens take back the Justice street's from these"bought" Government employees...
when will they understand there never going to enforce there protection of "THE PEOPLE" when there checks & pensions say the "Law" owns them .
it's so easy to bend the rules cause the Punishments & Consequences Doesnt Apply to the arm forces!
you can apply anything into "threatening manner"wearing a badge & beat the living shit out of a fearless Law abiding citizen who wearing a custom to perform youtube  comedic dance video in public.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

Fuck the police....take him to court and sue him and have him fired

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

The reason the cop wanted permission to access his phone was to erase any video evidence. DO NOT GRANT THEM ACCESS!!!! ALSO PUT A PASSWORD OR KEY LOCK ON YOUR PHONE!! Without one cops can access you phone without your permission.

j.pollo
j.pollo

There has to be accountability for false arrests. The way it is now, they rough you up, throw you in jail for a day or night and drop the charges afterwards, no harm, no foul. Well, there is harm. Pay up.

joeseijo2
joeseijo2

Hialeah PD is the most corrupt police department in all of Florida.  Followed closely behind by Opa-Locka PD.

Bigdic
Bigdic

@Seán Schauseil Hey tough guy, let's see how tough you are when bent over in a lockup taking it in the ass & mouth at the same time.

benny
benny

Most cops are scumbags anyway, I imagine in Hialeah they're even worse.

joeseijo2
joeseijo2

@juan_j_santana Lose 100 pounds and I'll vote for you.

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