The Journal of History     Winter 2008    TABLE OF CONTENTS

America's Concerns

4 Dead in 19 Days

November 24, 2007

Miami-Dade NAACP

Why does the NAACP suck so bad? Why do they wait until people are dead? Why didn't they do something about my story? There was media from all over the world? case # 02-4663 Judge FIGAROLA said the fat lady has sang. Not yet she hasn't. I'm injured and suffering from those injuries in my neck and back. All because free republic wanted to take pictures of me in hand cuffs. If it wasn't for officer Cruz, the good officer, it could have been much worse. Where was the NAACP on this case? I could do their jobs without fear of the bad officers like Anastaga(sp?). Michael Putney <> was there and many other media. My arrest was on TV. My rights weren't read to me. Nothing but a holding small cell, too many women, and bed bugs. I couldn't sleep all night. I have the pictures on my protest sign. Many, many people were there, yet no one did a thing. Again GIVE ME FLOWERS WHILE I LIVE.

My heart goes out to these families. Mine could have had the same problem. Only I wonder if any one would have cared. Please read the stories below. Why did the president of the NAACP have me put on the streets Homeless evicted by mold? Then I was given 3 apartments. The NAACP had part ownership in the words of the NAACP president in 2002.

I'm ill and homeless over Toxic Mold. Theirs was a New Building. Why NAACP WHY? Maybe many of our young men and women would still be alive. Conditions deteriorated after the death Of Dr. King and all the others such as Malcolm X, Deboy (sp?)and many, many more.


A Day at Club "Level"

February 13, 2002

Elvira and I went to SOBE where President Clinton was to attend a fundraiser.

I went to have a chance to get a look at President Clinton in person. Clinton is a superstar far surpassing any rock star or movie star. Elvira went to present President Clinton with a gift.

A short time after we arrived, the freepers showed up across the street in the median with denigrating signs and hollering epithets. I usually would rebuff their attempts to spread falsehoods but I had the flu and my voice was not up to it. So I mostly kept quiet. However, they were able to elicit a response from Elvira.

I noticed one policeman talking with the freepers and a short time later a policeman came over to me and informed me that he wanted us to go across the street with the freepers. It seemed like a set-up to me. Had I gone across the street with the freepers there would have been a likely escalation of tension and unruly behavior. I felt strongly that should be avoided and I decided to take a walk along the sidewalk instead becoming a legal pedestrian rather than a 'protestor' or rallying activist.

When I returned, walking along the sidewalk and approached Elvira, who was talking with one of the policemen, I tried to get Elvira's attention to urge her to take a walk with me. One of the policemen told me "keep moving." So I did. The next time I returned walking along the sidewalk Elvira was in handcuffs being arrested. I never saw her engaged in any unruly behavior or noticed any sense of disorder on the sidewalk even though there were many people milling about and as a pedestrian it was crowded in front of the club. Elvira was not standing in front of the club, instead she was standing to the south of the club entrance right against a street sign where no pedestrian could have walked anyway. I got the unmistakable impression of the two policemen as being one as good-cop and the other as being bad-cop. One policeman was acting respectful and the other was being disrespectful, even angry and threatening, saying "She's going to JAIL" with strong emphasis on the word "jail." I don't know what she could have done to be arrested. The local news media was there with their cameras. I am sure that they have it all on tape. Whatever she did to get arrested would be on that tape.

The next time I saw Elvira was the next day at the Miami-Dade pre-trial detention facility in downtown Miami. I attended an arraignment and the judge never asked her, "How do you plead?" only saying "Time served, court costs." As though she had pled guilty or no-contest. I watched intently and never heard or saw her plead anything, especially no-contest or guilty. It appears that she will never get her day in court. I believe that is unfortunate because the citizens of Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach have a right to know what evidence of a crime the police had in order to arrest her.


Scott R. Hotchkiss Ft. Lauderdale, FL

But wait, there is more:

In just 19 days, 4 unarmed Black men died at the hands of one department: Miami-Dade Police. And they want the right to carry shotguns.

On Saturday, November 24, 2007, beginning at 4:00PM, the community will rally for justice and against police abuse at the Miami-Dade Police Intracoastal Station, located on Biscayne Blvd. and 156th Street in North Miami. The rally will follow the funerals of Michael Knight and Frisco Blackwood, two men shot dead by Miami-Dade Police on November 12, 2007.

Virtually anywhere else, the violent deaths of four unarmed people by one police department would trigger headline news and federal investigations. However, in 2007's Miami-Dade County, the deaths have not been tied together by the media or even elicited any public statements by elected officials, not even the Black ones. The shocking silence of the elected officials and the unwillingness of the media to ask questions, speaks volumes about the state of Black people in this part of the United States.

However, in a real demonstration of people power, the Haitian-American and African-American communities, along with people of good will of every race and nationality, are joining for a single rally for justice for all victims of police brutality. This rally might usher in a new day in communities fighting injustice together, rather than separately.

Over the past few months, Miami-Dade Police have launched a series of aggressive police sweeps, targeting Black communities and people. These aggressive police units- locally known as the "jumpouts"- feature police jumping out of unmarked cars with guns drawn and pointed while barking orders to scared and confused people. Men, women and children in Liberty City, Little Haiti, Overtown, North Miami and other Black communities are forced to lay down on the ground, take off their shoes and socks and endure disrespectful treatment, even when doing nothing wrong at all. The end result was predictable: the same police encouraged to and rewarded when engaged in overly-aggressive police tactics, killed four unarmed Black men in 19 days.

On October 25, 2007 19 year old BG Beaugris talked with his younger brother and two friends a mere 100 feet from his own apartment, having just completed his father's laundry. Undercover "jumpout" Christopher Villano saw four Black men and, according to Villano's lawyer, considered them "suspicious." Villano jumped out of his unmarked car, gun drawn, and ordered the young men against the wall. After finding nothing illegal or dangerous, Villano engaged in a verbal argument with BG before jumping on him and placing him in a headlock. With his free hand, Villano drew his weapon and shot BG once. As he lay on the ground injured, Villano shot BG twice more, killing him.

On November 7, 2007 Roger Brown was apparently driving erratically before being stopped by school and Miami-Dade police. Several cops jumped on the 40 year old Brown, claiming he was resistant, behavior typical of individuals suffering a mental health crisis. According to witnesses, after tasing Brown, police kicked him in the face and beat him with night sticks before placing him in a "hogtie" position and throwing him in the back of a cruiser. Brown stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

On November 12, 2007 Frisco Blackwood and Michael Knight were dropping a friend off at her Little Haiti home. A marked Miami-Dade police car followed them and eventually pulled them over, allegedly for running a red light. The rented SUV pulled into a dead end- leaving the three with nowhere to run, even if they wanted to- and the police jumped out of their cruiser with guns drawn on the car, all for running a red light. The guns and barked orders made Blackwood nervous and police open fired when the vehicle did not do exactly what the cops wanted it to. After getting hit by multiple bullets, Blackwood's body convulsed uncontrollably, throwing the vehicle into reverse. The female passenger in the back seat was shot in the leg and survived watching her friends die at the hands of the police.

These deaths would not happen in wealthy white neighborhoods, not because there are no criminals there, but because police do not jump out with guns drawn on traffic stops or on white people doing their laundry. We urge all people of justice to demand an end to the unfair police practices in the Black community.

CopWatch - Haitian American Grassroots Coalition - Power U Youth - Miami Workers Center - Haiti Solidarity Committee - Bolivarian Youth - Veye-Yo - South Florida Peace & Justice Network - Miami-Dade NAACP

Max Rameau
CopWatch, a project of the Center for Pan-African Development


The Journal of History - Winter 2008 Copyright © 2008 by News Source, Inc.