Congresswoman Asks If It Is Open Season On African-American Men

MIAMI (CBS4) -A congresswoman wants the Justice Department to investigate the Miami Police Department and its use of deadly force in the shooting deaths of seven black men since July.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to ask for a federal investigation. Wilson said only the federal government has the resources and independence to give “close, objective scrutiny” to the deaths.

“What’s going on in Miami-Dade County, Florida? Is it open season on African-American men? It’s outrageous,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

“It’s about time somebody stepped up and did something. I hope it becomes something more than words on paper,” said Sheila McNeil. Her son, Travis, was the seventh man shot and killed by a Miami police officer.

“It took seven young men to lose their lives before any real action was taken. It shouldn’t have been this long,” said McNeil.

All but two of the men were armed when they were shot by police. The State Attorney’s office is investigating.

“What happened to tasers? I remember a couple of years ago, everyone was talking about tasing. All of a sudden, these men are dead,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

A spokeswoman said the Justice Department is reviewing Wilson’s letter.
Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito told CBS4’s news partner The Miami Herald that he has invited federal authorities to attend post-shooting reviews since the first death.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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