MIAMI — An internal investigation has been launched into why an African American doctor known for testing the homeless for the coronavirus was handcuffed outside his home by a police sergeant, Miami’s police chief said Saturday. Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said in a video posted to social media Saturday that his agency doesn’t condone or accept profiling of any kind. The chief made his remarks after video surfaced of Dr. Armen Henderson being handcuffed Friday outside his Miami home.
Henderson, who works for the University of Miami Health System, was unloading items from a van when the sergeant pulled up in his squad car, exchanged words with Henderson and then handcuffed him. A home security camera captured the encounter. Henderson told the Miami Herald the officer released him from the handcuffs and went on his way after the doctor screamed for his wife, who came outside with identification.
The officer told him he was patrolling the area after receiving complaints of people dumping trash, Henderson said. Henderson said he told the officer he was just unloading his van. He said he was handcuffed when he didn’t show him identification and turned back toward his van, Henderson said. The police chief said the agency had received a “litany of complaints” about illegal dumping in the neighborhood.
“There is a cargo van that is parked in front of that home. It appears to be trash that is being off-loaded,” Colina said. “That is the genesis of the stop. What happens after that, what’s being discussed, the actions taken, etc., all that needs to be investigated. And it will be investigated.”