MIAMI (CBS4)-The U.S. Department of Justice told a South Florida Congresswoman it was passing along her request to investigate a number of shootings to the appropriate arms of the department for evaluation.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s request for federal authorities to begin a criminal and civil investigation into the shooting deaths of seven black men by Miami police is moving forward, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

In a mostly procedural move, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich told Wilson in a letter Thursday that he is forwarding the request to the criminal and special litigation sections of the Civil Rights Division, which will, “carefully review the information you have provided to determine what, if any, action is appropriate pursuant to their statutory authority.”

Wilson penned a letter in late February to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for his “immediate personal assurance and intervention in the city of Miami’s police department’s policies, practices and procedures regarding the use of deadly force and the subsequent mandatory investigations following such incidents.” At least two of the seven men killed by Miami police had no weapons.

Joining her in the request was the Miami branch of the NAACP, People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, the ACLU, Miami’s Community Relations Board, and Miami Commissioner Richard P. Dunn II.

Police shot and killed seven men over a seven month stretch that began last July, causing community angst and friction between Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito and Mayor Tomas Regalado. Dunn, who like Regalado earlier supported the chief, also fell out of favor with him, and is now seeking his resignation. Exposito has been fighting back on Spanish language television and radio insinuating Regalado is tied to organized crime. He argues the shootings were caused by a turf war created when his officers took gang leaders and weapons off the street.

Meanwhile, City Manager Tony Crapp Jr., the man who will ultimately determine Exposito’s fate, hired a retired FBI chief to evaluate police department policy and the chief’s work. He has not finished his report. And a police oversight board created through voter approval a decade ago and given subpoena power has asked Exposito to turn over all records related to the first shooting of DeCarlos Moore in Overtown. Moore was shot and killed when he disobeyed an order by police and returned to his car. He had no weapon.

Exposito has denied the panel’s request, and Civilian Investigative Panel Attorney Charles Mays is weighing whether to take the chief to court to force his hand.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

Comments (10)
  1. freedomofspeech says:

    This Congresswoman is clearly a piece of work herself! Rest assured, if the ethinicity of the 7 criminals that were shot would have been white, and the roles were reversed, the community would be shocked and embarrassed as to why a congersswoman would even question these officers actions. But since the race card is being pulled on this one it is a press worthy topic. Make no mistake people, these were indeed criminals doing something wrong. They were threatening the life of the officers that were present. These officers have families to come home to everyday as well. These criminals were up to no good. If you think otherwise, you need to take you head out of the sand. Let the gasping beging……..

    1. GAIN AND AGEIN says:

      u one of them?
      huh, FREEDOM

  2. Gina says:

    I don’t know, could it be a possibility that Mayor Tomas Regalado & Dunn, who like Regalado earlier supported the chief, fell out of favor with Exposito because they found out that Exposito really meant what he said, that he wouldn’t turn a blind eye to what is happening in the Police Department. As for having the feds looking into this matter, I am disappointed to see that it is a “retired’ fed looking into this matter. I wish the real feds would come in and do what Mr. Exposito really wants – a THOROUGH, UNBIASED review of the matter. Look, all these police shootings have been going on for DECADES and now, all of a sudden it’s all Exposito’s fault? Come on – sounds like a massive, corrupt inside dealings going on – straight out of a CSI Miami episode. It continues because no one wants to believe that something so outrageous it is actually happening – kinda like the DCF matter, the Scott Rothstein matter, the Bernie Madoff matter, etc., etc. Come on Mr. Dunn, you too Mr. Regalado – what have you got to lose, I mean if you all have nothing to hide- you will be winners in this because Exposito will be found out, because as you say, it will be discovered that it is Mr. Exposito’s fault after all. Or not.

    1. Money says:

      I can’t believe the justice department is wasting there time on this. Especially , to appease fedrica Wilson and her reverse racism!

      1. GAIN AND AGEIN says:

        SHE IS A US SENATOR and X-Representative 4 100 years

  3. Jane Doe says:

    Thiey should also look into why all the shooting in those neighborhoods. Why innocent people have been shot and or killed in the crossfire? That way the problems would be solved but it is much easier to blame others than to take responsiblity to solve the underlying problem.

  4. Money says:

    I guess your a really bad investigator . Most metro cops have college degrees (aa or bachelors and in some cases masters ie the director) . You just say this things out if pure ignorance . Your probably a wanna be that didn’t get chosen .

  5. carmen says:

    7 whites should be murdered, then maybe things will change. White people are quick to claim racism, but only if it happened to their own, then the complaints will come.

    1. fools says:

      i’m over joy that your kind can read and write.

  6. Brian says:

    Of course Ms Wilson wants an investigation; She supports wasting tax dollars: Welfare, food stamps, Section 8, medicaid. free cell phones and any other entitlement program for the non working, crack smoking and baby making population. Try spending one day in a police officers shoes, I don’t think she would want to serve a murder warrant to a previously convicted nurderer. As a matter of fact she would mess her pants at the mere suggestion of doing some real work. We need to support our police force imstead of undermining their every move.