“Criminal Justice Reform Needed in Miami Dade County”, says NAACP

Adora Obi Nweze President Miami Dade County Branch NAACP
Adora Obi Nweze
Miami Dade County Branch NAACP

By: Adora Obi Nweze, President

Miami Dade County Branch NAACP

Miami-Dade– The need for serious Criminal Justice Reform in Miami Dade County is not a new conversation. The information revealed during last week’s News cycle was just a harsh reminder of that reality. As the Miami Dade County Branch of the NAACP continues to fight for much needed changes, the Branch specifically addresses two situations that were brought to light last week.

“The Jim Defede Report”

Recently the ” Jim Defede Report” revealed a system of very troubling tactics that are currently being used by the Miami Dade South District Police Department. In response, Miami Dade Branch of the NAACP will be sending a letter to Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and the Board of County Commissioners expressing their concern and recommendations. The Miami Dade NAACP Branch will also be initiating discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice, the MDC State’s Attorney’s Office, the MDC’s Public Defender’s Office, and the Miami Dade Police Department about the findings of the report. After those discussions, the NAACP will recommend the appropriate actions.

In an investigative report by Jim Defede (CBS 4) that was aired last week (May 11th) regarding the activities of the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Crime Suppression Team (CST) in the South District here is a recap of the findings:

  • Blacks make up 27% of the residents of the South District, but were 67% of those arrested by the CST in 2014.
  • Black males between ages 18 – 24 years make up about 3% of the Districts residents, but are 21% of those arrested by the CST in 2014.
  • 42% of the adults arrested were males (of all races) between ages 18 and 25 years.
  • There was no data available on the numbers or characteristics of the juveniles arrested by the CST.
  • 96% of the CST arrests were for non-violent crimes.
  • 83% of the CST arrests were for drug related offenses.
  • 76 % of the CST arrests were for misdemeanors.
  • Out of the top 12 types of arrests made, possession of marijuana was by far the most frequent (245 arrests).
  • The second most frequent type was possession of cocaine (41 arrests).
  • The next most frequent type was resisting arrest without violence (9 arrests).
  • Of the possession of marijuana arrests (245), 53% of the cases were dropped and .01 resulted in a conviction.
  • Of the cocaine possession cases (41), 40% were dropped and 40% resulted in a conviction.

“Miami Beach Police Emails”

To say that NAACP is utterly disgusted by these revelations would be an understatement. However, the NAACP does commend State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine for their timely response to this most horrible situation. The Miami Dade Branch of the NAACP is willing and committed to work with these community leaders to begin to write a new chapter in the history of the Miami Beach as their Police Department institutes much needed Police Reforms.


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