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Posts Tagged ‘Miami’

MDPD’s Reign of Terror: A Lack of Cultural Understanding?

By Chloe Herring | June 18th, 2013 |

Growing up as the significant elder of two younger brothers, it is striking to see the precautions my parents take to raise the two young, black men even in the 21st century. Even more disturbing is that for the black community there exist a common hyper-awareness of appropriate conduct in the presence of police. There is a universal understanding that black men shouldn’t run anywhere on the street for fear of police suspicion. My mother once told my brother never to believe that in the case of an altercation that police would let him go because he was “a nice kid.”

“They will slam your head on the cop car because you’re practically guilty until proven innocent,” she said. She explained to them, as many people believe, that black men cannot own large or luxury vehicles without the risk of becoming victim to racial profiling. Both of my brothers are under the age of fifteen.

It seemed difficult at first to believe that the police in Miami would engage in blatant, unacceptable, or racially-charged behavior considering the city’s hailed diversity. One of the four-pronged objectives of the Miami-Dade Police Department, according to the department’s government webpage, is to treat all people with respect through demonstrating an “understanding of ethnic and cultural diversity.” In fact, it would be difficult to authentically achieve the three other stated values of integrity, service and fairness without cultural understanding of the county’s diverse communities. However, the MDPD’s recent history of targeting a specific minority population does not uphold the standards they seek to meet.

The MDPD has led a legion of fatal attacks on black men, which may conjure the names of fallen men like DeCarlos Moore, Travis McNeil and Raymond Herrise. The recent arrest of a fourteen-year-old Tremaine McMillian for giving officers “dehumanizing stares” after verbal reprimand, only further validates the racially-charged persecution of black males that seems to be deeply imprinted in the county’s law enforcement agencies.

McMillian was roughhousing with another child on Haulover Beach this May but it was his body language while he was walking away that prompted police to “neutralize the threat” the teen caused by attacking and detaining him. The 2011 death of Raymond Herrise, who fell victim to over one-hundred bullets fired at his vehicle, was induced by what police officers say was a posed threat in a speeding car. Herrise’s car was actually at rest, according to footage from the incident, before several police shot and killed the man and injured four bystanders.

Community outcries of frustration at the MDPD’s questionably racist practices landed the department with a civil-rights investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice late 2011.
But often overlooked by the MDPD’s plausible police stereotyping, a violation of civil rights that is still undergoing examination, is a critical component of the violence that police have taken on the very citizens they seek to protect: fear. A fear, often noted, that is unsupported by physical evidence or substantial reason; a fear that can most easily be described as rooted in an obvious lack of “understanding and cultural diversity.”

The message that the MDPD sends to the black community is hardly one of respect when their services include the scrutiny and persecution of black males.

With populations of racial minorities on the rise, incidents of targeted police brutality need to come to an end. It is impossible, ineffective and ultimately futile for a police force to adequately serve a community that they fail to understand. Officers should be educated on the history of police relationships with black people in efforts to understand the pain that shapes common perception about law enforcement. This is important because the history of police brutality in the black community is not exclusively the story of black people – it is a shared past of both parties. If police officers could first learn about the concerns of the people, then they could take the appropriate steps to actually perform their jobs.

Counterpoint: April 5 | North Korea, Gun Control Legislation

By WVUM News Staff | April 6th, 2013 |

 

 

A discussion of North Korea, Connecticut gun legislature, and Florida’s “Parent Trigger” law.

 

 

Counterpoint: 4/5 by Wvumnews on Mixcloud

Roundtable: Transit in Miami

By Hyan Freitas | News Director | March 8th, 2013 |

 

The Purple Line is a pop-up transit station. While real trains won’t be passing through, the idea is to give commuters a taste of what could be: a city hub that goes beyond just another train station. In a city they feel is lacking sufficient transit options, organizers Anna McMaster and Marta Viciedo hope that once the community sees what could be, they’ll never want to settle for anything less.

They joined ‘The Weekly Voice’ host Hyan Freitas to talk about their project. WVUM’s own DJ Swanky (Leah Weston) joined us as well. Her graphic comparing Miami’s rail line with other well known metro lines quickly went viral locally via social media.

Along with comments given by listeners via the WVUM Facebook page, so began the discussion of transit in Miami: the good, the bad and what can be done better.

The Weekly Voice; Every Wednesday from 2-3pm on WVUM 90.5FM in Miami, WVUM.org worldwide

Listen to the whole segment below!

Roundtable: Transit in Miami by Wvumnews on Mixcloud

A Conversation With Bill Nye the Science Guy | Part I

By WVUM News Staff | October 27th, 2012 |

For most of Election 2012, climate change and other issues related to science haven’t come up as often as they should.  In fact, not too much at all.

The Counterpoint team recently got a chance to address this issue, and they did so in spectacular fashion.

The one and only Bill Nye The Science Guy called-in to WVUM to discuss climate change and the future of American space exploration, among other science-y things!

In this first segment: an in-depth look at climate change: