African-American Leaders To Rally Against Police Shootings

LIBERTY CITY (CBS4) — Ten-year-old Travis McNeil Jr. wiped away tears Sunday as a church full of people prayed for the father he lost at the hands of Miami Police.

Dozens stood at the alter of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church on NW 62nd Street in Liberty City to rally against the spate of police-involved shootings that have plagued the area since summer.

It began in July, and less than a year later seven African-American men have been gunned down by police.

Travis McNeil Senior was the last person to die this way.

“First of all we need to stop,” said his son. “We just need to stop the madness.”

A little more than a week ago McNeil buried his father and he said the wounds are still very raw.

“I just feel like some giant wormhole is in my heart eating me alive,” he said. “I just can’t describe this feeling, it’s too sad.”

It’s an issue that also saddened many in attendance at the rally. Their prayers and their protests all calling for change beginning with the firing of Miami’s police Chief Miguel Exposito.

“We are sick and tired of burying our sons to the City of Miami Police Department,” said the Rev. Billy Strange Jr. from the pulpit.

Surrounded by other clergy and Miami City Commissioner Richard Dunn, Strange and others vowed to continue their fight until there are answers to the police involved shootings and a change on the street level.

“We demand a change we can not continue to have insensitive police, police that do not understand our culture policing our community,” Strange said. “We are tired.”

The anger felt by community leaders in Miami is echoed in the nation’s capital.

Last Thursday U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to ask for a Justice Department investigation in the shootings. 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.

A spokeswoman said the Justice Department is reviewing Wilson’s letter.

A spokesman for Chief Exposito did not return CBS4’s phone calls requesting an interview on Sunday.

The group of African-American leaders will take their rally to the streets on Thursday March 3rd at 5:30 p.m. That is when they plan to march from Gibson Park to the Miami Police Department.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

Comments

One Comment

  1. rausky says:

    I hope things don’t get ouit of hand and the March turns into a full scale riot!! That will give the Police agood reason to beat up more people!! If tht happens people Don’t commplain!!!!!

    1. Carla says:

      Rebember when,Miami Mayor,Police & Chief ,had American Last Name(Most White)..NOT Complain.. & Miami was a perfect place to live.,.with Respect & Save City…. Because,the new Police Chief has spanish last name (plus problems,with Miami Mayor) ….let’s fire Him??……Old Good Times Miami….

  2. MiamiMex says:

    Our young men taking drugs. That has to stop people.

  3. Mike says:

    I wouldn’t doubt riots break out soon in the near future. Especially in Dade County. It’s unfortunate, but true. Over the years, so much corruption and the county is becoming more third world every second. Hell, whites have it just as bad as blacks because we’re both the minority here. Except in areas like Pinecrest where all the arrogant, rich, snobs live.

    1. GAIN AND AGEIN says:

      AGREE, the GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME A CESSPOOL, and the REASON is WHEN HISPANICS ENTER POLITICS, YOU MUST WATCH CAREFULLY, rather than CRITICIZE, let us RECALL.
      I cannot wait to see what happens with SEIJAS and ALVAREZ! But to be HONEST, very few of us have the KNOWLEDGE OR POWER TO BECOME SO CORRUPT. I would hate MR. MAYOR OF HIALEAH, to take over, HE WAS BORN IN ELIZABETH, NJ, and DOES NOT HAVE A DECENT BONE IN HIS BODY, and his CHIEF OF STAFFis a BLOOMING IDIOT, with MONEY,
      We can all think that WE OWN THE WORLD, but the truth is: THERE ARE NO GOOD POLITICIANS, CORRUPTION IN SOUTH FLORIDA IS THE NAME OF THE GAME.

  4. tiredofcorruption says:

    Police not sorry or even upset…the passenger must have been eye-balling them and that or some other crap got him shot three times. That many rounds in the back and no one is shooting back or resisting. Did they shoot them through the window or through the door or both? Any other type shooting in Miami and we would know the trajectories or every shot fired and from every gun that fired each round. This foot-dragging is a bit more than suspicious. It’s downright criminal.

  5. tiredofcorruption says:

    Police not sorry or even upset. That many rounds fired at unarmed, non resiting men…several rounds in the back…Any other shooting we would have trajectory details. Not here. The delay and foot-dragging is criminal. Shot through the window or through the door or both. Which is it Exposito? Time to come clean with the details and that goes for the Medical Examiner too. That kind of information is Public Record and available on demand even in continuing investigations unless specifically sealed by a Judge.

  6. Philip Scharfy says:

    Hey. Don’t ILLEGALLY carry a gun (or any other weapon) if you don’t want to get shot by the police.

    DUH!!!

    1. Jessica says:

      I dont believe its any of the black men’s fault they died. I just feel like the police just want a reason to kill.

      1. bosshog says:

        How silly do you think that comment sounds? You seem to be part of the overall problem.

  7. Kenny says:

    Why don’t you pay homage to the many Miami Police Officers who go in day after day and risk their lives to keep this community safe. Your articles are one sided and always slant toward those self styled “community leaders.” You fail to mention that in five of those shootings the “poor” individuals were armed. Are we supposed to wait until there is another dead cop in this community. The police are citizens also and have rights also.

    1. GAIN AND AGEIN says:

      AND, they MUST HONOR CITIZENS> In SOUTH FLORIDA even the COPS ARE CORRUPT. why don’t they become SCHOOL TEACHERS, and get SHOT IN CLASS, or FIREMEN/WOMEN and RISK THEIR LIVES THAT WAY?
      We have no SELF-RESPECT, so WHY SHOULD SOUTH FLORIDIANS RESPECT?

  8. ButtaFli says:

    I attend the church were the rally was held and all we want is for the SENSELESS killings to stop. We know good and well that there are criminals walking the street and that in some cases, some form of action must be taken when these criminals threaten the lives of our police. For instance, those killings of those two police officers was uncalled for and NO ONE condones the innocent killing of the police. However, there have been some police killings that have simply been uncalled for. The lastest victim was found dead with no gun or weapon on the scene. Witnesses say he did not do anything. So the question is, what provoked the police to shoot him dead in front of his 10 year-old son? Please believe ot is not just the black community feeling the wrath of crooked cops. The hispanic community is seeing it as well. We are just sick and tired of police officers that abuse their power and stereotype black men due to a lack of understanding of our culture. Every black man you see with dreads, gold or platnum teeth, driving a car that sits low to the ground or with bass knocking is NOT a thug or a “ganster”. We are tired and we want answers. Like my pastor, Rev Strange, asked us in his sermon, “If it was your son, brother, uncle, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, husband, etc. You would want to know.” Actually, we all want answers to the SENSELESS killings!!!

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