by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Some people in Miami are outraged over the treatment of black men by the Miami Police Department. According to reports, a victim by the name of Travis McNeil made for the 7th black male victim fatally shot by the Miami PD in just 8 months. The shooting of this 28-year-old was the last straw. The New York Times reports:
“A Miami police officer shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop at North Miami Avenue and 75th Street in the Little Haiti neighborhood. The man, Travis McNeil, 28, was unarmed and never left the driver’s seat of his rental car when he was shot once in the chest, members of his family said…The shootings in this racially polarized city have led to marches on the Police Department’s headquarters and calls for a Justice Department investigation, and the city manager has initiated an investigation into the chief’s record.”
Soon following, the families of all seven of the victims were able to land a meeting to speak at the City Commission where some demanded that the police chief — Miguel A. Exposito — be fired. Exposito, 37, said in defense “We don’t have a violent police department. You’ll find our officers are very compassionate with the people they deal with. They will try to de-escalate situations rather than resorting to deadly force.” This of course does not add up to the testimony of the McNeil family or any of the other families who had loved ones killed by the Miami PD.
Representative Frederica S. Wilson, wrote Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. requesting that the Justice Department investigate. In her letter she said, “‘There is a wide range of growing concern in the community regarding the apparent lack of communication and response to these incidents by the City of Miami Police Department.” According to The New York Times, “Police officials would not describe details, but they have said that during…shootings, the officers had reason to believe their lives were in danger.” Reports do not say where investigations on the Miami PD lead. The last shooting incident involving McNeil took place in March of this year, but Police Chief Miguel A. Exposito is still currently listed on the official Miami Police Department website despite all of the outrage and unrest from the community.
Ayvaunn Penn is the founder of Your Black Poets and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. To inquire about her freelance editing services, click here. To like Ayvaunn on Facebook, click here.