Miami police offer 'mea culpa' after incorrectly announcing arrest of suspected murderers

Miami police boasted Monday they had arrested two men suspected of killing a local high school honor student and another young man.

However, hours later they had to walk back the announcement after it was proven that the two men were not involved in the killings.

Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina had announced during a press conference the arrest of Yaairness Rashad Bryant, 21, and Anthony Clinch, 19, - the prime suspects in the brazen daylight shooting that killed two people and wounded two others. He said a probable cause arrest warrant was issued based on the identification of an eyewitness, the Miami Herald reported.

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The arrest, which occurred during the weekend, happened despite Clinch vehemently denying any involvement, saying he was out shopping with his mother.

Hours after the announcement was made – and the two men had been booked in jail – detectives corroborated Clinch’s claims after seeing supermarket surveillance video showing him with his mother at the time of the killings.

Monday night, Colina said the department would seek the release of the men two days after they were jailed.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he told the Herald.

Miami-Dade prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to quash the arrest warrants Tuesday morning in court.

As for early Tuesday morning, the Department of Corrections inmate system showed both men still remained jailed at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Police said Kimson Green, 17, an honor student at Northwestern High, and his friend Ricky Dixon were gunned down outside a home at the Liberty Square housing projects in broad daylight. Two others were seriously wounded.

Northwestern High students took to the streets in protest and law enforcement flooded the neighborhoods for patrols.

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Details of the murder investigation remain unclear, the Herald reported; however a meeting with top-ranking Miami police officials on Friday appeared to have prompted the arrests the next day.

The newspaper reported that SWAT and patrol units stormed the apartment complex on Saturday night, arresting Bryant and Clinch, who immediately told officials he was shopping at a Hialeah-area Marshalls store and supermarket with mother at the time of the killings.

Despite his assertions, Clinch was booked and jailed.

Two days later, a large contingent of police officers announced the duo’s arrest and said they were looking for a third suspect, Deondre McDuffy.

Hours later, detectives saw the surveillance video from Fresco y Mas supermarket clearing Clinch, sources told the Herald.

No video evidence cleared Bryant, whom investigators still believe is  involved in the killings.

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Colina, in a prepared statement on Monday night, said after reviewing the surveillance footage, it was immediately decided both men would be released. An arrest warrant for McDuffy, which was also announced earlier that day, was canceled.

"While the Miami Police Department is committed to the pursuit of justice, it is equally committed to the protection of the innocent," said Colina.