Thursday June 30, 2005

Miami Police vs. US Department of Justice

Impressive gear for dealing with unarmed protesters This article in the New Times is a must-read. It concerns a struggle between the City of Miami and the Civilian Investigative Panel. Now, the CIP was created in 2001, when the Miami police were running amok, shooting people and planting guns on them, and whatnot. Well, we all remember the crap that went down during the FTAA meetings in 2003. So naturally the CIP is investigating. In order, we suppose, to determine where the blame for the horrible handling of the protests belongs, the CIP requested the police plan for dealing with the protests, which the City promptly refused to let them see. The CIP sued for it, and won. That’s where the New Times story picks up:

After losing to the CIP in state court, Miami officials contacted various federal agencies and “stated the order might implicate federal documents,” without mentioning which ones, according to the federal motion. Federal officials had to investigate for themselves which documents the police were referring to. And that’s when they learned a seven-page U.S. Coast Guard memo was included in the operational plan. The Coast Guard was responsible for securing the Port of Miami during the FTAA. The memo detailed where personnel would be deployed and what specific tasks they would perform.

Turns out, the CIP isn’t interested in that memo. Oh, ok…

But Miami city attorney Jorge Fernandez decided to play hardball.

“Despite the clear statement from the Panel that it is not seeking access to the Coast Guard memorandum, and although federal law prohibits disclosure of that document, the city nonetheless informed us through its counsel that it will release the memorandum (along with the rest of the Operational Plan), unless a State appellate court reverses the trial court’s disclosure order,” the motion states. “Because of the city’s position, the United States can protect this federal sensitive security information only by intervening in this appeal.”

Hey, that’s great! The City Attorney is bullying the Department of Justice, and toying with our national security, to protect it’s brutal police department.

Fernandez’s tactic of strong-arming the feds into helping him by threatening to reveal sensitive information is hardly improving his popularity. In fact the feds have in essence declared him a potential lawbreaker. After all, when the feds claim in their motion that the U.S. Government has to insert itself into this matter “to prevent the unlawful disclosure of a federal document,” it is Fernandez they are talking about.

I guess you have to admire his chutzpah. CM can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

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  1. Hugh Briss    Mon Jul 18, 09:10 PM #  

    Anything new on this story? I’d love to see the entire mess blow up in his face. If they time it right, the Miami police force could implode just about the same time that ugly little troll in the Broward Sheriff’s Office gets spanked and expelled.