DOJ Finds That Miami Police Dept. Violates Fourth Amendment

The Department of Justice conducted an investigation and found that the Miami Police Dept. (MPD) engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force with respect to firearm discharges, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14141.  On July 9, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, submitted its report to the Honorable Tomas P. Regalado Mayor, City of Miami, Florida, and Chief Police Manuel Orosa, City of Miami Police Department.

Miami Chief of Police, Manuel Orosa

Miami Chief of Police, Manuel Orosa

This is the second time that the Department of Justice had cause to investigate the Miami Police Dept. in about a decade.   The current investigation commenced on November 16, 2011, after MPD officers fatally shot seven young African-American men during an eight-month period spanning 2010 and 2011.

Like the 2002 investigation, the current investigation also arose during a wave of corruption allegations involving sworn MPD officers and supervisors, including allegations of extortion and obstruction of justice.

Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General wrote:

“Among other findings, our investigation uncovered a number of troubling MPD practices, including deficient tactics and supervision, as well as significant delays and substantive deficiencies in deadly force investigations.”

In its 14-page report, the DOJ found that shooting investigations fail to adequately analyze and explore facts to determine whether a shooting is justified.  The report outlines many of the cases that the DOJ investigated and highly criticized the MPD’s poor tactics and its failure to timely and thoroughly investigate officer-involved shootings, including where one officer is involved in multiple shootings.  The DOJ report expresses that they are troubled by the delays in MPD investigations.  The MPD appears to first wait for the State’s Attorney to investigate and during that time, does not require those officers involved to prepare written reports of the shootings.  The DOJ found that the practices of the MPD in delaying investigation renders disciplinary action impossible.

Seven officers participated in over a third of the 33 officer-involved shootings reviewed by the DOJ.  All seven officers intentionally discharged their weapons at individuals on multiple occasions over the course of four years. One officer discharged his weapon in four separate incidents during a three-year period, resulting in three deaths.  Another officer fatally shot two suspects in separate incidents within a two-week period, and both of those investigations are still pending after more than two years.

The DOJ noted that from 2010 and 2011, 17 officers were discharged from duty.  Four of the 17 involved officers have since been arrested, indicted, or convicted of crimes unrelated to their on-duty shootings.

Since the DOJ opened its investigation and conducted on-site debriefings, the number of officer-involved shootings decreased to almost half of the total for each of the preceding four years.

The DOJ is hopeful that they can collaborate in the immediate future to craft and implement court-enforceable remedies to correct what they have identified.

DOJ Report on Miami Police Dept., 7-9-13

 

Posted on 08/15/2013, in Department of Justice, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. good to know — not that it such abuse of power occurred, of course, but that it was properly investigated. let’s hope the tide will change! thank you for the report, xena!

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    • @fauxmccoy. When I read that it was Miami, I thought about Rachel Jeantel and Trayvon Martin. Sanford had a problem with GZ killing an unarmed Black teen, and Miami has a problem with cops killing them. Sanford has a problem not conducting investigation when a private citizen kills an unarmed kid, and Miami has a problem with it’s police department not investigating whether their officers were justified to shoot. BUT, Don West couldn’t understand why Rachel Jeantel didn’t call the cops in Miami about a situation in another jurisdiction?!?!!!!!

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  2. Thanks for following Xena, I’m following back. Hi Faux. I miss you too from the Letterman blog from which I was rightfully banned for going over the top. I just saw the writing on the wall and didn’t know where to go to mourn or how to mourn properly. I’ve enjoyed your blog thus far and will try to catch up on all of them soon. Have a great day, Peace and Blessings to you.

    Tasha

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    • @tashatexas. Welcome to blackbutterfly7. Sorry, I didn’t know you have been banned from Leatherman’s blog. It must have been during trial when I wasn’t there much. I was following the trial over on 3Chicspolitico and have since joined them. You’ll find me here, and there. 🙂 Peace and blessings to you too.

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  3. Thanks for reporting this most important story, Xena.

    Since the DOJ opened its investigation and conducted on-site debriefings, the number of officer-involved shootings decreased to almost half of the total for each of the preceding four years.

    I pray that the DOJ will look into the SPD’s handling of the KILLING of Trayvon Martin.

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    • @Yahtzee. It took the DOJ over a year to complete its investigation into the Miami Police Dept. While they are investigating as to whether GZ can be charged under federal law for violating Trayvon’s civil rights, an investigation into the way the SPD handled his murder might also run along side of it, along with investigation of conspiracy to violate the Federal Fair Housing Act.

      I hope they leave no stone unturned.

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      • If you wish to provide information or comment concerning the federal investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin or related to the Sanford (Florida) Police Department, you can send a message to: Sanford.Florida@usdoj.gov.
        http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/

        that last sentence right there on the DOJ’s website makes it sound as if they ARE investigating the SPD doesn’t it?? I think, but have to find it, Holder’s statement after the trial he included the police dept too. when I find it i’ll post it.

        but as for Miami, years ago a girlfriend of mine was dating a Miami police detective.but when she first got with him, right after leaving my house, she didn’t talk to me for like 2yrs because she was outside in the car when the guy shot and killed an unarmed Black kid at a convenience store!

        he was off duty at the time and said the guy went to steal a pack of cigarettes (right in front of him, although he wasn’t in uniform). he said when he told the guy to stop or something the guy ran for the door and he just shot him! i’m not positive about all the details, and I don’t remember his name, but he was under investigation for a prior shooting and whatever happened at the 1st one was why he was off duty/not working at the time of this shooting, which was right when she 1st got with him!
        but she told me afterward this was the reason he wouldn’t let her talk to me because in SHE was HIS witness, she was to testify that the kid attacked him or ran towards him, and she saw it. and she did talk to the cops that night!

        but anyway he knew me too and I would’ve freaked out and would’ve totally gotten her protection and legal council because I’d known her since we were teenagers and i really cared about her and even back then, although I mighta been bad, I was bad and I paid for it, with lots of cash-until I finally felt bad enough to learn a lesson before I did do something that hurt someone. but I did, you know stuff like smoke a lot of pot, special K and ecstasy in the clubs, drinking and driving and crashing causing a lot of property damage, mostly my own, but one time i hit 4 parked cars, but I was NEVER DOWN with MURDER or letting my friends cover for a kid killer!!

        OMG I haven’t thought of this in so long, I wish I could ask her about him. I remember asking her several years later when we kinda got back together if she ever did testify against him and she said no, but I don’t think she would tell me if she had.

        thanks for posting this. I wonder if any of those killer cops picked up charges. It sounds like the department lost or didn’t collect much evidence. this is some shit! it’s just non-stop and it’s everywhere! I don’t know what to do!!

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        • @Shannon. Some people should never be given a badge and a gun.

          It amazed me how Corey said the SPD did a good job investigating, when there was so much they DID NOT do. For instance, they didn’t use luminole on the sidewalk to refute or support GZ’s claims of having his head bashed there.

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  4. oh and a week or so ago I looked into some of the DOJ’s civil right murder cases to find any similar to Trayvon’s. the ones I found were almost always first state prosecution failures and it took the DOJ around 3- 6 months to bring their charges after states acquittals.

    so i’m hoping by new years we’ll know what they’re doing. but I also noticed that many of their convictions- unless someone got life, most defendants didn’t seem to get that much time in prison. like 5 to 8 years.
    but they really weren’t like Trayvon’s case either, a innocent 17yo who had ran away from a grown man who was already told to leave him TF alone, i mean Z stalked and chased and murdered him 70 ft from his door, right in his own back yard, in front of all kinds of lying witnesses!

    and I hope those POS get charged so bad. jenna, jon and Jeremy. I really think especially the 3 that lied in court should be charged..it’s bad enough they let z murder a screaming kid when they could’ve at least tried to stop him. but they went further and helped a killer at his trial too. they helped demonize Trayvon and now terrify millions of other kids by helping the killer go free. as if killing young black boys is not a crime. so I think they need to be held accountable too and used as an example to all the other racist POSs out there that if THEY even TRY to help other racist killers, they will be responsible for it!!!

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    • @Shannon. I’d like to see an investigation into the jury, especially Juror B37 and whomever, bailiff or sheriff was that watched over the jury room, because Taaffe didn’t know what he said on Nancy Grace’s and Fox out of thin air.

      Also, Barbara Walters said that GZ’s family doesn’t communicate with him because they are afraid that their phones are tapped. A private citizen would not be able to do that. I suspect they know that the feds were capturing all of their electronic communications until the trial. It they weren’t talking racist talk, then why should they be concerned?

      IMO, the feds should conduct an investigation in Koppelli’s gym and Adam Pollack. For what Adam testified, he could have recommended that GZ join weight watchers rather than pay for membership at a fight gym.

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      • omg you’re so right about having the phone bugged! the Feds have to do it! I had my phone bugged for a FBI rico/racketeering investigation (not on me, on someone I was hanging around with) and I think it was a warrant for 3 months but I didn’t find out about it for like a year later when the FBI came knocking on my door! long after I stopped hanging around that person.
        so you’re so right, a lawyer must of told them about the Feds, but i guess forgot to tell them they really shouldn’t blab about their phone being monitored all over the TV- if they want to appear kinda innocent to the Feds! what stupid idiots they are! and they deserve anything they get!

        god I hope they did something shady using their website or phone- crossing over into other states!!! please let them go to prison too!! that would just be the BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME! the total, complete Justice on earth for Trayvon Martin and his family!!
        If Z’s whole Family- mom, dad and brother were ALL sent to prison for their actions AFTER the murder of an innocent kid!
        for the way THEY contributed to the suffering of Trayvon’s parents, and as the parents of the killer the way they are begging for money and writing books, basically living off the proceeds of a fucking hateful murder! they need to pay too!

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        • @Shannon. I do hope that Sybrina and Tracy proceed on a civil suit against GZ.

          As far as charging Z’s family, they, along with Taaffe, are instrumental in promoting White Supremacist ideologies. This is an amazing country. It allows freedom of speech. When people use that freedom to promote hate speech, and some idiot acts on it, is when the government arrests. Until then, the people are kept under a watchful eye. Can you imagine living everyday of your life believing that the feds are listening to your every word, monitoring your internet usage, and your every action? IMO, they deserve their misery.

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          • Xena you always know how to make me smile!! even an evil smile! LOL
            I really do hope they are miserable. they look miserable. they have always looked unhappy.

            but it seems to me they are waiting for the DOJ or they would’ve already filed against z right? they just had a meeting w doj around Aug 3, we haven’t heard what happened at the meeting but it would make sense that they’d want the investigation done before they acted. although it would be for the principle and not money. i’m sure they know if z got a decent lawyer/accountant, they’d never see a penny from a law suit. that’s why oj moved here. there’s all kinds of ways to hide income in florida.

            but it helps me sleep better thinking Trayvon’s family got some good news from the doj this month. I hope so.

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            • @Shannon.

              Xena you always know how to make me smile!! even an evil smile! LOL

              (Hehehehe)

              According to Mama Zimmerman, they have lost everything. The question is for what? Why? Because of their son. Then their other son opened his mouth and impugned the entire family.

              they just had a meeting w doj around Aug 3, we haven’t heard what happened at the meeting but it would make sense that they’d want the investigation done before they acted.

              Makes sense, because as you say, it’s the principle and not the money. The DOJ brought Sybrina and Tracy up-to-date on where they are. There is no way on God’s green earth that a person can refer to an individual in the plural (assholes, coons/punks) and it not be construed as against a group. In this case, the group were Black teens. Yes, GZ racially profiled Trayvon, and he also harassed other Blacks who lived or visited in that community.

              For a judgment in a civil case, liens are possible on any future income. If I were attorney Crump, I’d watch ShelLIE carefully because she is the one most likely to spring out a book deal or consultant work on a movie. They should also consider whether or not she was negligent because she purchased the gun that GZ used to kill Trayvon.

              http://3chicspolitico.com/2013/07/30/is-shellie-zimmerman-guilty-of-negligence/

              As long as the DOJ is investigating, there is still work for us to do.

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            • As long as the DOJ is investigating, there is still work for us to do.[Xena]

              Yes!

              And, I continue to wear my sweatshirts that say “Keep Your Hoodies Up” around my community!

              Note to the ladies: My different sweatshirts are royal blue, pink, and purple. 🙂

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            • Oh Yahtzee. I love those colors. One of my pull-over hoodies is royal blue with red trim around the pockets. I also have them in turquoise, black w/pink, and grey.

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  5. Isn’t that what they do? I mean why do people become police officers anyway? Is it really to serve and protect the community or to give them a legal aspect of beating people up just because. I know I can’t be a cop.

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