Liberty City man shot by Miami police has felony charge dropped, prosecutors say

Donald Armstrong, the Liberty City man shot multiple times by a Miami police officer during a mental breakdown last month, no longer will face charges that he assaulted a police officer.

On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said it will not pursue the charge of aggravated assault of a law enforcement against Armstrong. Instead, he will face a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence, but in a lesser county court, prosecutors said.

On March 19, Armstrong was arrested and charged after he recovered from his gunshot wounds. Nearly a month later he still remains in jail, records show.

READ MORE: ‘He didn’t assault anybody.’ Man shot by Miami cops amid mental health crisis charged

“It’s a partial victory, but I’m still disappointed that the state decided to proceed with a misdemeanor charge,” Larry Handfield, Armstrong’s attorney, told the Miami Herald.

Handfield said the resisting arrest without violence charge was inappropriate — and that Armstrong didn’t deserve to be locked up or shot six times.

Miami police officer opened fire on him

On the day of the March 7 shooting, Armstrong’s mother called police pleading for help saying her son, 47, was suffering a mental health crisis. A standoff ensued as Armstrong stood on the porch of his mother’s home in the Model City neighborhood near Liberty City facing at least a half dozen officers with guns drawn.

In an effort to subdue him, police shot him twice with a Taser. As he fell forward off the porch toward the officers, captured on video, Miami Police Officer Kassandra Mercado opened fire. She hit him six times, according to Armstrong’s attorneys Benjamin Crump and Handfield.

Police have not said how many times Armstrong was struck or why none of the other officers at the scene fired. The shooting is being investigated.

Mercado has been administratively reassigned. She normally patrols Model City.

For Handfield, police must do a “better job” when responding to calls related to mental health crises. But despite the legal win, Armstrong will remain in jail until his next hearing on May 22 due to a probation violation charge associated with his arrest.