|Commissioner Richard Dunn and smirking murder |
defendant Demarcus Alexander.
UPDATED @9:00 pm, Aug 8, 2012: Attn.: viewers of The First 48 - Demarcus Alexander remains incarcerated in the Miami-Dade County Jail, still facing a number of charges. He won't be released anytime soon.
Demarcus Alexander had a reason to smile in court Friday.
That's because prosecutors dropped murder charges against him for his part in the Dec. 14 slaying of Ciara Lee, 24, and her 2-year-old son, Devin Franklin.
“We’ve had no help from the community, and the witnesses we had suspiciously and suddenly became unavailable and uncooperative,” Miami police Sgt. Eunice Cooper, of the homicide unit, told the Miami Herald.
You read that right. "We’ve had no help from the community," said Cooper.
The same community, by the way, that can't get to a TV camera quick enough when the police are forced to shoot and kill an armed suspect. Among those vocal community members is Miami Commissioner Richard Dunn, who loves to decry violence. But only if the violence stems from the police doing their job.
(Alexander "won’t be getting out jail anytime soon," reports the Herald. "Prosecutors Matthew Baldwin and Susan Dannelly announced Friday that they believe Alexander violated his earlier probation for a 2007 armed robbery conviction.")
|Demarcus Alexander booking photo (12-24-2010)|
|Click to enlarge.|
(The murder of Ciara Lee and her son Devin was recently featured on A and E's The First 48.)
But, Commissioner Dunn has been silent or missing in action as of late.
A few days later, Miami police arrested 19-year-old Diron Percy Andrew and charged him with shooting Smith-Brown and her son. Dunn had no comment.
Over the past year, there have been other shootings and killings in Miami. Here's a list:
Jahnya Ware 4-11-10 "On Friday night, Jahnya's life was cut short when a car she was riding in was riddled with bullets on a Little Haiti street."The violence continues with no end in sight.
Daniella Cooper 11-6-2010 "Daniella Cooper was slain inside her home, at 176 NE 82nd Terr., by an unknown assailant. Her toddler son was the only apparent witness, police said."
Michael Beatty 11-14-2010 "Michael Beatty, 20, was standing outside the Brotherhood convenience store at Northwest 16th Avenue and 60th Street at about noon Sunday when a black four-door Nissan Maxima with tinted windows pulled up, Miami police said.
"A short time later, a man with a gun can be seen on surveillance video chasing Beatty. The victim tried to escape, but the gunman chased him about a block and shot him several times, killing him."
Summer of violence:
May 6, 2010: Eric Pratt Jr., 18, was playing dice at Athalie Range Park, 525 NW 62nd St., when he was shot to death.
July 22, 2010: Someone shot into a car parked in the Miami Gardens driveway of Pratt's family home, gravely wounding 12-year-old Dharmaniyah Moore. Dharmaniyah's father is friends with Pratt's father. The boy is in a coma.
July 29, 2010: Lexsis Ray, 17, was shot dead and John Baker, 19 -- a friend of Eric Pratt -- critically injured in a drive-by shooting in Little Haiti. Lexsis was walking home from a friend's home when a man with a high-powered rifle jumped out of an SUV and began shooting at Baker. Lexsis was struck as Baker ran.
Aug. 2, 2010: "A 17-year-old boy was shot in the head and his toddler niece shot in the left foot Monday in Liberty City.
"Both were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where the teen was in critical condition. The girl was expected to recover, according to Miami police.
"The teen's sister, Sharell Green, 25, identified him as James Taylor, and the little girl as Janaisiah Hudson. Janaisiah turns 2 next month."
When the killing comes from from within the community, the response is always the same. Teddy bears and candlelight vigils but no real solutions.
In the case of Demarcus Alexander, some community members had a real chance to make a difference.
Instead they chose to remain silent. So now, they have become accomplices in the murder of Ciara Lee and her two year-old son; just as if they had driven the getaway car.
And so is Commissioner Dunn. Click on the links in the stories above. You won't find Dunn's name in any of them. That's because the shootings and killings weren't done by the police.
Dunn says he wants the violence to end in Overtown and Liberty City; but he can't seem to talk honestly about the real causes. He doesn't come up with real solutions to the violence. Instead, he continues to look for scapegoats.
There's a reason why I paired Commissioner Dunn's picture (above) with that of an accused killer.
That's because both Dunn and Alexander, in their own way, are equally responsible for the never-ending cycle of violence that has become entrenched in the City of Miami.