MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Attorney General Bill Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to send highly-trained and specialized federal riot teams to Miami and Washington, D.C. to respond to violent protests which broke out in response to the death of George Floyd, however, Miami-Dade County leaders said they didn’t request it.
In statement to CBS4 News, the Bureau of Prisons said, “The BOP has specialized Crisis Management Teams (CMTS), including Special Operations Response Teams, which are highly trained tactical units capable of responding to prison disturbances, and providing assistance to other law enforcement agencies during emergencies. The BOP’s CMTs also include Disturbance Control Teams, that specialize in crowd control scenarios. Per the request of the Attorney General, the BOP has dispatched teams to Miami, Florida, and Washington, D.C.”
During Miami-Dade’s virtual County commission on Tuesday, both Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Police Director Freddie Ramirez said both were surprised by their arrival.
“I was unaware they were here. We didn’t ask them to be here. We told them we didn’t need them here. There is no reason for them to be here.” said Mayor Gimenez.
“There originally was supposed to be 110 of them, the federal agents, but we turned them away. There were 23 of them, dealing with stuff inside federal prison. They are still staying at the hotel, but they were told they weren’t needed. This is federal stuff going back and forth,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Ramirez.
Director Ramirez added that the federal law enforcement agents have not been used for anything.
Protests erupted across the country and here in South Florida in the wake of Floyd’s death last week, with large crowds taking to the streets to oppose police brutality and the deaths of unarmed African Americans in police custody.