The ACLU of Florida and the The Miami-Dade NAACP fired off a letter today to Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez accusing the officials of "targeting, in a racially discriminatory manner, those who regularly attend Urban Beach Weekend."
The letter, signed by John DeLeon and Howard Simon of the ACLU, and Bradford E. Brown of the Miami-Dade chapter of the ACLU, accuses city officials of going out of their way "to make this event as difficult as possible for visitors to attend, creating the appearance that it is trying to discourage African Americans from visiting the City."
In the letter, (embedded below), the ACLU and NAACP slam city officials for a plan that would require "proof of residency to even enter residential areas north of 5th Street to Lincoln Road from Washington Avenue west to Alton Road, south of 5th Street to Government Cut, and Dade Boulevard to 41st Street and Pine Tree Drive."
The ACLU charges that the city's planned traffic loop "raises serious constitutional concerns" because it targets "a predominately African American event."
The letter also objects to an alleged order from top police department brass to rank and file officers that requires them to “meet an arrest quota of 2,000 arrests” over the long weekend.
The ACLU and the NAACP called the quotas "a prescription for confrontation."
Chief Martinez, in an email to Miami New Times, says "there is no arrest quota for Memorial Day Weekend or any other day on Miami Beach."
Can't wait to see how this ends.
ACLU NAACP Letter to City of Miami Beach