NORTH MIAMI – The 29-year-old seen in a video having a controversial encounter with a police officer is speaking out, saying he feared for his life.
The incident, which happened near the intersection of 159 Street and NE 18 Avenue, is now under investigation.
“I’m still trying to recover from it, I can’t stop thinking about it,” said Gerardson Nicholas.
The “it” he is referring to is the controversial traffic stop and the video of the incident that has gone viral.
“The way he was acting, it was like he wanted me to make a move so he could shoot me. Thank God I didn’t,” said Nicholas, who gave CBS4 his first in depth interview since the encounter, showing us where and how it happened.
During the process, CBS4’s Bobeth Yates asked him why he think he was stopped.
Nicholas answered, “Because I’m Black, that’s why he stopped me. Because I’m Black, he targeted me.”
Nicholas was cited for not wearing a seat belt. He also received a ticket for failing to provide proof of his registration.
He says he started recording the traffic stop after the officer walked up to the passenger side of his car, opened the door, and took his keys out of his ignition.
“All I was trying to do is protect my life, to make sure if something happened to me people can see it,” said Nicholas.
In response to the viral video, the Miami-Dade Police Department released the following statement, that reads, in part:
“An internal affairs investigation has been launched to review over 30 minutes of footage captured on the officer body worn camera and other evidence… the officer has been placed in administrative desk duties pending a complete investigation of the traffic stop.”
In the meantime, Nicholas says that day continues to haunt him.
“I’ve been discriminated against, but my life has never been threatened. It’s killing me inside, I’m not the same no more after this happened,” added Nicholas.
Nicholas says even though he got a ticket for failure to provide his registration he did show us the registration. He says he initially couldn’t find it, and when he did, the officer said it was too late.