This week, officers with the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) were filmed roughing up black spring breakers, beating a black woman’s head into the street, and shooting a man on Ocean Drive.
What We Know:
- Locals and visitors have long complained that MBPD habitually roughs up black visitors to South Beach. But after this weekend, black city leaders and activists are fed up.
- The Miami-Dade County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is asking City Manager Jimmy Morales and Police Chief Richard Clements to resign.
- The chapter’s president, Ruben Roberts, told New Times the NAACP has a positive relationship with former MBPD Chief Dan Oates, who regularly met with the association and often resisted calls from other Miami Beach politicians to arrest more partygoers. Roberts said he warned those politicians last summer that replacing Oates with Clements might be a bad call and could lead to more violent interactions between black visitors and law enforcement.
- Roberts spoke Friday surrounded by leaders from the ACLU and Miami’s Civilian Oversight Panel in an empty lot in Overtown. “We have Super Bowl, we have Gay Pride, we have New Year’s. That never happens during those weekends.”
- Jeanne Baker, who chairs the police practice committee of the ACLU of Florida, said Miami Beach “has a long and troubled history of racial discrimination.” She, too, called for a more diverse police department. “We told the City of Miami Beach to put an end to the maltreatment of Black people and to stop the use of excessive force, last Friday. They didn’t listen. Now, it’s time we show the City of Miami Beach, we’ve had enough, it’s time for collective action.”
In a statement received from Miami Beach Police Department, Chief Richard Clements stated: “If you come to Miami Beach to cause problems, we will intervene and take enforcement action.”