Families Of Miami Police Shootings Protest

MIAMI (CBS4) – Members of four of the seven families whose loved ones have been killed by Miami Police protested outside Miami City Hall, saying they wanted to raise awareness about the cases and get answers.

“We’re not going to go away, not until we find out what happened to these young men,” said Sheila McNeil, whose 28-year-old son Travis was the seventh person shot and killed by Miami Police since last July. It happened exactly one month ago.

McNeil met with Police Chief Miguel Exposito last month but he was not able to say why officers stopped her son’s car and why police fired. It happened just blocks away from the “Take One Lounge” near 75th St. and Miami Ave. at 11 p.m. on February 10th. McNeil was with his 30-year-old cousin, Kareem Williams, who was also wounded.

With tears flowing down her face and surrounded by protestors carrying photos of loved ones, Travis’s aunt, Darlene, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I just wanted to know what happened to him, because Travis would have done. Just what the officer said. He was not going to do anything to make those officers shoot up a car like they did and drag him out like a dog.”

Exposito promised to thoroughly investigate this case and said officers would be charged if they broke the law. He was not able to say when the investigation would be completed. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office will also investigate the McNeil shooting.

While McNeil met with Exposito on February 23rd, the other families who were at this protest have not.

“I don’t think it would do any good,” said Lynn Cone, the father of 27-year-old Lynn Weatherspoon, who was shot and killed on New Years Eve in Overtown. Police at the time said he was a felon with a long rap sheet who was shot after drawing his pistol on officers.

“They didn’t have to shoot him down like a dog,” said Weatherspoon’s father. “They shot him in the back of his head and in the back. They shot him 8 to 9 times, maybe as much as 20 times. It was overkill. My son didn’t get any justice.”

“Here it is my brother, who was 27, and he tried to run and they shot him down,” said his sister, Celisse Weatherspoon. “That’s wrong.”

Last August, 21-year-old Gibson Junior Belizaire was shot during a gun battle following a domestic call. Police say he fired at them several times after his car stopped and there was a foot chase.

His mother, Julina Belizaire, was also at the protest.

“I just want to know why my son got killed,” she said. “I want to know what’s going on in the community. All people here are brothers and sisters.”

The relatives lead by activists from P.U.L.S.E. took the protest inside Miami Hall, where Commissioners recognized them. They were told they could return next Thursday to address Commissioners about their concerns.

Mayor Tomas Regalado told CBS4 that he welcomed the relatives.

“I think it’s important they were here because this is a people’s house,” said Regalado. “We can assure them that there are many eyes looking at this investigation. I can assure them that whatever is discovered, the city will stand behind.”

The activists called for the dismissal of Police Chief Exposito.

The City Manager has brought in a retired F.B.I. chief to review the department. The City manager could decide the chief’s fate but has promised to study the circumstances before taking action.

McNeil said that she has requested a meeting with Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle. But the investigations could take up to a year. So far, McNeil has not heard from the State Attorney about her request for a meeting.

More from Peter D'Oench
  • Dan

    The majoirty of the black community has turned into a total joke. I say that as a black man. I see protesting when the police shoot someone that is a criminal with a criminal history, but when black on black crime occurs, I don’t see these same protests??? I see people that think it’s wrong to give the police info on the killings, because the police “are the enemy”…. the gang bangers, hustlers and drug dealers are glorified in the black community. Its actially pretty pathetic

    • Vincent Marinello

      Its all about the law suit they think thhey have from some nit wit attorney advising them….If they cared about their loved ones they would not have allowed them to fall into the life of crime they chose

    • Jimmy Spiers

      Dan,if you only knew how much I agree with your comment. It seems like there is alot of energy waisted on trying to defend criminals and make out like the police are running around in white sheets. I feel like race relations have made great progress,but situations like this just harm the progress we have all worked “together” for.

  • Money

    Mrs . Belizaire & mrs. Cone , sorry for your loss, but unlike the McNeil shooting . It’s very obvious why your sons got killed . One had a firearm and the other , actually got into a fire fight with police . In those cases I don’t expect police to wait around and wait until they get shot first !! It seems that even if you don’t trust the police , the truth will come out due to the state attorneys office parallel investigation. Therefore , before we make assumptions . Let the state attorney release their findings . That goes for the two unarmed cases .

    • Money

      I meant to write that goes for the unarmed cases also !!! My thoughts apply to all of them!!

  • Demetrius Williams

    I feel terrible for these good people. Death is a horrible thing, especially when a young life is snuffed out like a candle flame with the immediacy only a gun can provide. However, the problem with these family members is that they don’t want to acknowledge the fact that their loved-ones were involved in some sort of negative behavior that put them squarely into the crosshairs of a police officer.

  • Vincent Marinello

    Good Job Guys….Keep our streets safe from these who stalk us. Now they care about their kids, where were they back when they were runnung the streets…keep up the good work.. Also my thanks to KHARMA who forgives no one..

    • Bob

      Karma will get you soon my friend, real soon.

  • Atheist

    Why isn’t there any protests when a black man shoots a black man, women, or even a child in the hood? How often does that happen? I can bet you a years pay more times then these police shootings!

    If you want to protest why not also hear the opposing criticism. Like the fact two of those cases they were criminals armed with a gun, but I fail to hear them speaking about those facts.

  • Clay Renoit

    Where I come from the big ATL GA. The police department is not as big as Miami but they run into the same problems as they do anywhere. For the most part the police retire and never pull there gun to kill…Why can’t Miami do what some other States are doing ..”KILL RATE HERE IN MIAMI IS TOO HIGH BEING KILLED BY A POLICEMAN SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN…IT STARTS IN POLICE TRAINING..There is so many ways to take a gun from a armed man. I have to say it the police are lazy here in Miami…They think its ok to pull a gun just to make a person do what your asking….thats not right…I am oldschool and newschool….YOUR TO LAZY…..SO WHAT MAKES IT RIGHT WHEN YOU (THE POLICE) DON’T LIKE A GUN PULLED ON YOU SO WHAT MAKES IT OK TO PULL A GUN ON EVERYONE THATS NOT DOING A DARN THING AND JUST MAYBE MIAMI DADE POLICEMAN IS HAVING A GOOD DAY AND THE PERSON LIVES..I SEE WHATS GOING ON HERE…( the police is just to lazy) You need to rethink the next time you pull your gun to kill…is this your brother or mother? What would you do if it was your dad,mom…look at it from the other page. Oh I am sorry your traning is to shot to kill….WHO ARE YOU TO TAKE A LIFE…YOUR NOT ABOVE GOD….THERE IS OTHER WAYS TO TAKE A GUN FROM AN ARMED MAN…..BEING LAZY IS NOT THE OTHER…IIN YOUR TRANING AS A POLICE OFFICER IT DOES NOT SAY USE THIS GUN ON MY HIP TO KILL WHENEVER SOMEONE DON’T MIND YOU…OR DO AS YOU SAY OR I WILL USE MY GUN TO KILL….THE POLICE NO THESE LETTERS i A in any other police department in anyother State pulling your gun with the intent to kill is not a joke….Most police in Miami could not go one night without there gun..But in other huge Cities around the world never use a gun….Can Miami maybe rethink the use of a firearm ???

    • Atheist

      First of God doesn’t exist besides in fantasies (Now back on topic). Okay let me get this strait there is a way to disarm an arm man trying to kill you without using there firearms. Sorry to inform you but in the “REAL WORLD” those who point a gun at police are going to be shot.

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Tell the police the “OTHER WAYS” if you say Taser your mistaken taser is 1 shot and isn’t aways effective (see studies). Also loaded guns have up to 15+ rounds of deadly killing power. I believe anyone would take the gun option over a taser.

      how would you like a gun pointed at your family members what would you do if you could stop a criminal from killing them? Use special tactics to disarm them that could get everyone killed and aren’t aways effective or use your firearm?

      • BrotherJohn OfDallas

        @Atheist: If you don’t want Christians forcing their beliefs on you, then don’t force yours on others. For some, God indeed exists. For you, He doesn’t. Life goes on

  • manino

    I feel for the families that lost a loved one. What they all need to figure out is that if their family member was involved in an illegal act and the result was that they lost their lives, there is no wrong doing by the police. Protest if the police were at wrong, not just because they were doing their jobs to keep the rest of the same community safe. The fact is that if you are doing something wrong, you could be in danger.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Weather Forecast 24/7
Thanksgiving Guide

Listen Live