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Charges dropped for man accused of a crime

When an individual is arrested, news of that arrest becomes available almost instantly. In many cases, the person who is accused of a crime has his or her photo spread across the media, long before he or she is able to give a different side to the story. This can lead to a great deal of damage to one's reputation within the community, an outcome that can be difficult to reverse even when the case is resolved in the person's favor. An example is found in the recent news that charges have been dropped against a Florida man who may have been the victim of police brutality.

The matter began in August, when Miami police arrested and charged the man with trespassing as well as disorderly conduct. It is unclear what led police to determine that the man was involved in either activity, both of which are misdemeanor crimes. What is clear, thanks to a witness who was filming the incident, is that a police officer leaned into the patrol car that was holding the man and punched him.

At the time of that attack, the man may have still been in handcuffs. The footage shows the officer striking the man, then climbing into the backseat after the man tries to slide out of his reach. That footage was placed on social media; when the Miami Police Department saw the recording the officer was suspended and both charges against the man were dropped.

This is certainly a positive outcome for the Florida man who was subjected to this arrest and apparent assault. However, it is interesting to consider what might have occurred had there not been video of the incident. The man's name and possibly his photo could have been used in media reports of the arrest, which could have caused him a great deal of personal and professional damage, regardless of how the case played out in court. The story serves as an illustration of the importance of taking a firm legal stance in protecting one's rights and fighting to avoid conviction when accused of a crime.

Source: NBC Miami, "Charges Dropped Against Man in Alleged Police Brutality Case", Willard Shepard, Oct. 14, 2015

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