Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Beach Town Wants to Ban Black Parties, As Cops Shoot People

As we discussed last week, Miami Beach was paralyzed by fear and terror regarding the arrival of a couple hundred-thousand black people in town over Memorial Day Weekend. Well, they came, they went to Busta Rhymes' birthday party and only a few people were shot. By the police.

As near as anyone can tell, cops came up on a "stalled car" with guns out and shot up the car, claiming the driver had a gun. Twelve police officers likely shot four bystanders, definitely killed the driver and three officers were mildly injured.

They did not find a weapon in the car, however.

The police "are investigating unconfirmed reports that shots came from the car and that passengers were in the vehicle and bailed out." You know: "reports."

(The YouTube video above, while confusing, doesn't seem to show anyone "bailing out.")

Also, in a very old-school move, the police confiscated local news cameras on the scene, and grabbed and smashed a cellphone recording the incident (and also threw the cellphone's owner to the ground). They did, however, leave the car in the street until morning, quite riddled with bulletholes.

So of course today the City Council is meeting to decide what to do to keep black people from coming around.

27 Comments / Post A Comment

Multiphasic (#411)

I wouldn't call this "casual racism". This seems to be racism, if not in a tux, then at least in wingtips and a snappy blazer.

@Multiphasic What sort of racism should you wear in that weather, anyway? Always so humid.

saythatscool (#101)

@Krugmanic Depressive Guyabera?

@saythatscool Niiice. But I'm stumped when it comes to footwear. Espadrilles seem so Crockett-and-Tubbs progressive…

saythatscool (#101)

@Krugmanic Depressive These things.

@Krugmanic Depressive : I dunno about footwear, but everything goes with a nice white suprema-tee.

@saythatscool Jesus. Those are fucking terrifying. And definitely summer-racisty, sand between your fake toes relaxing-but-still-always-on-guard.

SeanP (#4,058)

But, families of the deceased, fear not! Justice will be done! No doubt, the cops involved will be found guilty of some minor offense, and do you know how hard it will be for them to find jobs after that? Their lives, much more so than yours (and your dead loved ones), will be ruined.

MParcells (#375)

@SeanP This does call for drastic action. I hope all of those officers are put on paid leave, for a very long time.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@SeanP EVERYONE WILL KNOW THEY ARE GUILTY. Except jurors, of course. I mean, let's not get greedy.

saythatscool (#101)

Here's my favorite quote:
“It’s time we just admit that we’re not equipped to handle a street festival with no place for people to go,” said Commissioner Deede Weithorn.
I actually know a couple of young black guys who were headed down there for a 5 day-long weekend. They had paid for their hotel and each guy was bringing $200 in cash for food, entertainment and whatever else. That's basically who the typical patron is and Miami Beach doesn't want a bunch of outsider poors hanging around if they aren't going to buy anything or go pay covers to get into clubs. Never mind the fact that it's mostly a public beach and if they were Cuban, well then, every politician in town would be down there for pics with the unwashed masses. Instead, well just call it a hip hop crowd and shut down the fucking city whenever they plan to come.

semiserious (#2,430)

@saythatscool It doesn't help much then that the big parties that bring many of the tourists down in the first place have outrageous cover charges. Rick Ross's party was $60. Lil' Wayne and Drakes was $50. Birdman's was $45. There wasn't much under $25. Add in to that the fact that most of the clubs charge $10+ for a drink.

There's a lot of problems with the collection of events that aren't mentioned up above that lie with the promoters themselves.

The worrisome thing about the vocal pissed off Miami Beach people (who will all forget about this by next weekend, honestly) is that they don't really want to find ways to improve the event and make it more welcoming. They don't particularly care about the safety of the tourist. They don't care about the worrying actions of the police. They just want it gone completely.

boysplz (#9,812)

@saythatscool This sounds an awful lot like the hand wringing we get down in Austin over the Texas Relays. The police keep finding reasons to shut down the street parties and I have to listen to people dog-whistle at each other all week about how bad all the "people from Houston" are.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Breaking: City Council moves to restrict all gatherings of more than 5 black people to the court of American Airlines Arena.

keisertroll (#1,117)

@Abe Sauer Taking your talents to the south bench.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

When does the LOOOOOOOOTING start?

CatsInBags (#3,656)

I'm not sure its fair to conflate this shooting with any racism that was on display over the Memorial Day Weekend. From the video, it appears the car had already rammed a few cars up the block…The videographer can be heard making a comment of that effect to whomever else is in the room with him. We don't know why this happened. Maybe it was because the driver decided early to not stop for police. Maybe it was because the driver was having a seizure. Maybe the driver was simply drunk.

But for some reason. The car seems to have rammed into a few cars and the driver did not pull over and stop immediately. We don't know why it stopped at the intersection. Maybe the driver was shot, maybe the driver decided to stop, maybe the driver realized the police were there and intended to stop, walk out and be taken to jail, maybe the driver stopped having her seizure…who knows at this point (though some assumptions seem stronger than others eh?)…We see the police approach, guns drawn — and then the barrage of bullets. We don't know whether this driver reached for something, refused to get out or if she was taking the keys out of her ignition and was shot.

I'm not saying the police didn't make mistakes. Smashing cameras and confiscating videotapes is highly suspicious. No weapon was found. And and innocent life may have been taken. But based on the video and reports, its kind of too early to pass that kind of judgment.

Morbo (#1,288)

From the article:

"Business owners, police, activists and residents have been abuzz since early Monday morning, when officers shot and killed the driver of a car that allegedly struck a Hialeah officer, then led police on a three-block chase down Collins Avenue, crashing into cars, running up on the sidewalk and nearly crushing bicycle officers before skidding to a stop at 13th Street."

CatsInBags (#3,656)

@Morbo right. which is why i thought "As near as anyone can tell, cops came up on a "stalled car" with guns out and shot up the car, claiming the driver had a gun" — surrounded by the other context of the post — is a little misleading.

HiredGoons (#603)

This was a misunderstanding, as the gentleman must have said "I'm backin' Heat."

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

But the part I really love is this:

"There is very little we can do," [the mayor] said, adding that scrutiny from the American Civil Liberties Union – which has called for a transparent and independent investigation into the Collins Avenue shooting – "ties our hands" when it comes to enforcement measures.

Gee, you mean because the ACLU is watching, you actually have to deal with people lawfully, instead of just beating, shooting, etc. at will? The horror, the horror!

It's good to see that systemic racism resulting in violence and death is a suitable subject for punny humor on The Awl. I'll note it and send some of my friends along to comment the next time the cops and a municipality use intimidation against a large group of white people. Oh yeah, doesn't happen.

To the people making excuses for why a dozen cops opened fire on a stopped car, you sound crazy. There is no reason for this. Cops are supposed to show restraint and be better than reckless criminals, but seldom are when blacks are concerned. Then innocent lives are taken. It never happens to any other group. Please answer me that question. And no, the answer is not black people deserve it because we are more violent.

SeanP (#4,058)

@Alexis Garrett Stodghill@facebook Lady, you must be new here. EVERYTHING is a source of punny humor on the Awl. Which does not necessarily mean that said punny humorists think police misbehavior is A-OK… which you would have noticed if you spent more than 30 seconds reading the comments here.

allyzay (#321)

@Alexis Garrett Stodghill@facebook It also happens to Hispanics!

Miami PD has really become nothing but a lawless street gang. The cop murders are out of control down there right now.

This is fucking unacceptable.

How can a party of all Black folks not be considered racists?
I'm tired of hearing articles and reports that selectively
include data of the author's choosing. Miami police do not go around casually gunning down Blacks. This article is simply lying and exhibiting a rather juvenile arrogance of superiority, and failed to cover the entire story. When you stop writing such simple-minded claptrap, I may pay attention to something you publish. Don't think that will happen – once a racist, always a racist, and Blacks are the most determined racists of all. Just look at OJ.

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