28 October 2013
A man with special needs is speaking out after he was left badly bruised by police. Twenty-two-year-old Gilberto Powell, who has Down Syndrome, is left with horrible bruises and scars on his face after he had an encounter with police outside his home.
“That’s my son. That’s my baby. I really love this little boy. He’s my love,” said Powell’s mother, Josephine.
According to the family, they were inside their Southwest Miami-Dade home last Saturday when Powell, who is also called Liko, called his parents on his cell phone to let them know he was walking a block from his friend’s house.
On his way home, Liko said, “The police followed me.”
Liko said, the officer smacked him in the face with an open hand and knocked him to the ground.
“His whole hand,” he said.
According to the police report, a Miami-Dade Police officer noticed a bulge in Liko’s waistband. The officer attempted to conduct a pat down, and Powell tried to run away.
“I said, ‘Didn’t you know he was a Down Syndrome kid?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not a doctor. I don’t know.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can see it in his face that he is a Down Syndrome kid,’” said Josephine.