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Friday October 5, 2007

The City of Miami will pay $160,000 and the county $300,000, in a settlement with 20 victims of police brutality/abuse during the 2003 FTAA protests. Our pal Tamara even throws in a few choice Chief Timoney quotes from back then, like calling protesters “pussies.”

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Friday May 5, 2006

At SunPost, Omar has a draft copy of Miami Civilian Investigative Panel’s report on police behavior during the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas Summit. “The overwhelming presence of police dressed in riot gear intimidated demonstrators and deterred them from exercising their First Amendment rights . . . On occasion, indiscriminate use of force was utilized against demonstrators resulting in less lethal weapons being deployed against retreating subjects and bystanders.” (via Pure RHETORIC, who has some good personal recollections of the events)

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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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Tuesday August 21, 2007

So, Rick has been following the case of Miami Police Chief John Timoney and the Lexus SUV he’s had on “loan” from a local car dealership for over a year (without pay), including the pathetic excuses his department came up with when CBS4 called them on it. Well, John, the shit has hit the fan: your boss just told you to give back the car, and called for an ethics investigation. (BTW, in no way does this confirm, I’m sure, my long-standing assertion that all cops are assholes.) Update: He paid for the car. Two contrasting opinions in the Herald today: Ana Menendez is critical of the chief, drawing the comparison to the FTAA protests (see the link to the video in the comments), while the official editorial seems to hold that everything is fine now. Update (8/23): A vote of no-confidence by the police union is scheduled for September 4th. I hope this ends up sinking this asshole.

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Friday August 11, 2006

Five rubber bullets @ a peaceful demonstrator

Super-quick recap: back in 2003, Miami hosted a meeting of the Free Trade Association of the Americas (FTAA), and hilary ensued. We’ve all read the CIP’s report, so we know the outlines of what happened. I bring up the case of the lady who was hit five times with rubber bullets fired by Broward police because it so succinctly demonstrates my understanding of police mentality. Let’s recap:

Where is the apology for hitting her with rubber bullets? Wait, nevermind that; it turns out that no police officers were disciplined for anything in all of this. OK now I have some observations.

  1. No apology for the rubber bullets.
  2. No officers disciplined. Ah but of course: we “have no way of knowing which officers fired the rubber bullets.” You know why? Because the the guy standing next to the guy who fired won’t say. And the guy on his other side won’t say.
  3. . . . i.e. when police officers do fucked-up criminal shit their buddies cover for them. This utterly refutes any sort of “it’s just a few bad seeds” argument that anyone would care to attempt to make, right?
  4. And nevermind discipline. I believe we have a name for shooting at someone, and it’s actually a crime. So how about filing some charges. Oh, right: see #3, above.
  5. You know how killing a cop is a worse offense then killing a random person? OK, I understand that rule, and have no problem with it. But by the same token, the police are entrusted by us with special power. I think that when they abuse that power in committing a crime (which is precisely what this was), their punishment should be similarly more harsh.

The worst thing about all of this? For every instance of police abuse of power that gets caught on tape, there are hundreds or thousands that are never heard of. Messed up.

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Tuesday February 7, 2006

Supreme happiness Tuesday

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Friday June 3, 2005

There Goes the Neighborhood

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

The re-examination of Miami-Dade’s urban limits begins in April of every odd year, when the Planning & Zoning Department accepts applications.Miami Herald

Must be another odd year—but aren’t they all?

Ten, count-em, ten separate applications have been filed in Miami-Dade County to extend the Urban Development Boundary farther west The only real question is, how far west will it go?

I don’t understand why we’re nickel and diming this issue, moving the boundary a couple miles at a time every decade. Let’s just move it out to the Collier County line. In fact, why stop there? Let’s go to the Gulf. I’m sure we can buy an intelligence report and a Federal agency that support a case for Naples and Ft. Myers possessing weapons of mass destruction—Miami-Dade County troops, led by Police Czar Timoney on his militarily-modified swamp hopper bicycle, could launch a shock-and-awe type of strike and claim both cities.

Evidently, we won’t stop until every toad, bird, and palm tree is deader than King Tut, and every drop of water is three parts petroleum by-product. At this writing, 700,000 residential units are planned or under construction in Miami-Dade County alone but that’s not enough—Go West, Young Builder, and plunder the Earth. Who gives a shit about the environment anyway? We have air conditioning.

There’s even a surefire positive way to spin it: It’s to Protect Our Children! With the cities falling over one another in a frenzy to pass ordinances prohibiting convicted sex offenders from living in the same time zone as a school or playground, let’s clear a space out in the swamp where they all can legally relocate. Call it the Evergropes. Jerk Circle West. Hey, great exposure! (Jackson’s Hole has already been claimed, right?)

And hell, with the cost of South Florida housing where it is, only the finer class of pants-dropping, sneak-in-the-night pervert would find it a feasible move Snakes and skeeters would leave on their own, clearing the way for new, non-native vermin. Say—that rather describes what’s happening anyway.

Build Baby Build.

[See all Articles by Steve]

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