Monday, December 02, 2013

Random Pixels Guest Columnist: Michael Putney

Michael Putney.
Local 10's Michael Putney closed out his show Sunday morning with some thoughts on the recent reports of Miami Gardens police harassing and arresting the patrons and employees of a convenience store in the Gardens.


Before we leave you this morning, my personal perspective on law and order, Miami Gardens-style. it is, in a word, ugly.

But don't take my word for it, let's go to the video. It shows Miami Gardens police officers harrassing customers and employees at a convenience store, the 207 Quick Stop. Most of the cops are white, nearly all of the customers are black. Naturally, you're wondering, why are the cops acting this way? Well, the answer apparently is that the owner of this store, Alex Saleh, signed on to the police department's zero-tolerance against law-breaking about two years ago, then watched the cops use that policy to roust, harrass and abuse many of his customers and one of his workers. Saleh withdrew his support for "zero tolerance" and that's when the cops stepped up their harassment.

After the Herald broke this story, Local10 and other TV stations ran with it, showing the disturbing video and getting reaction.  But the reaction from the Miami Gardens mayor was not what you'd expect. Instead of condemning this obvious police misbehavior, Mayor Oliver Gilbert basically defended it, and criticized the store owner. When more incriminating videos were released, the mayor finally conceded something might be amiss.

Then late Wednesday, Miami Gardens city manager, Cameron Benson, weighed in saying he was, "deeply bothered by these allegations" of misconduct. Wow, that's reassuring. Just "deeply bothered" when white cops are manhandling black residents?

How about saying you're outraged [or we're] going to put an end to it while we conduct an investigation?

Well, the city manager says there will be an investigation and he's asking the state attorney to review it. FDLE, too. A better idea would be to ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct the investigation. Otherwise, I smell a whitewash coming.

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  1. Mayor, union employees and the city manager are all a part of the defense team. You as a citizen are the plaintiff.
    Which city in Miami-Dade has the most amount of lawsuits filed against it? I bet the it's a tourist city on the beach.

  2. Why doesn't anybody discuss the fact that the city is 80% Black and that racial profiling against Blacks is laughable with such demographics? Why isn't anybody asking to see ALL of the videos and not just the 7 that the store owner chose to show. Why isn't anybody speaking of the felony cocaine possession charge, multiple marijuana charges, indecent exposure and sanitary nuisance charges against Mr. Sampson? Just b/c he wasn't convicted doesn't mean he didn't do the crimes. I'm not saying the cops are justified in their actions, but fair and balanced reporting isn't happening in this story....wonder why?

  3. ^^^ I agree. I reside in this section of Miami Gardens and this store has been a problem for years. I do not support police harassment, but something definitely should be done. They have sold drugs inside/outside that store for years. Until the store owner produce all video footage, I side with Mayor Gilbert and MGPD. The store owner has poluted/profited from our community long enough. We as a community must wake up and not allow the outside media to distort a known in-home fact. Also, to see Baraka play victim on tv is almost funny....Baraka we know you and how you have contributed to that corner. Don't get exposed playboy!!!


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