MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The Florida State Conference of the NAACP has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation of the Miami Gardens Police Department and its “Zero Tolerance Policy.”
Miami Gardens Police have come under fire since video surfaced of employees and others getting stopped at the 207 Quickstop. The case of Earl Sampson was recently spotlighted by CBS4 after it was revealed he had been cited for trespassing more than 60 times, even though he works at the store.
The NAACP said the Justice Department should review the “pattern of intimidation by officers of the Miami Gardens Police Department against local African-American residents.
“The citizens are outraged.So many complaints have been rolling in about how they’re being treated.We know there is a lot of crime in Miami Gardens. We are not supporting criminals. This is not that point at all.This is about ensuring that those who are law-abiding citizens are not abused. Even if they are criminals, there is a way to deal with criminals,” said Adora Obi Nweze, president of the NAACP Florida State Conference.
A tenured Miami Gardens Police Officer who spoke with CBS4 on the condition of anonymity said officers are stopping people in the city for no reason other than to meet “numbers.”
“Because the pressure to stop black males in the city of Miami Gardens is placed on the officers, there are many Earl Sampson’s walking around,” the officer said.
The claims have also become the basis of a federal civil rights lawsuit. However, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said last week that it would not press charges against the Miami Gardens officers identified in the videos.