Fifteen hours prior to the action, Miami Dade police had also unloaded their guns, shooting 23-year-old Orrett Kerr in Liberty City, a few blocks away from where Macklin was gunned down. Two days later police killed a homeless man with a record of mental illness after shooting him with a non-lethal Taser stun gun in a hotel lobby.
Police say they shot Kerr in the back during a scuffle, claiming he fired a gun at an officer, grazing his face with a bullet. Kerr is in stable condition at a local hospital, while Officer Roderick Passmore, who is also Black, is on administrative leave with pay. Eyewitnesses insist Kerr had no gun. It will be weeks before test results of the gunpowder from the officers face will be returned.
These two shootings occurred five months after a recent investigation of Miami police led to 13 indictments by a federal grand jury on charges of planting guns, lying, and obstructing justice.
Linda Faye, who lives across the street from the scene of the incident, told the Miami Herald, "This has got to stop. Too much violence, period. People are mad. People are scared. When is it going to end?"
Police kill homeless man
On January 27 police killed a white man identified as Vinnie in the lobby of a motel in Hollywood. Witnesses told the press that the man entered the motel flailing his arms. He fell down, breaking part of a door. The hotel employee who called 911 said he looked like he was having trouble breathing and was unable to speak.
George Cressman of Hollywood, a bar patron, told the Sun Sentinel he saw four male police officers "kicking him and teasing him. I said, 'Why don't you take it easy on that guy?' They said, 'Get the hell out of here or you're next.'"
Police claim Vinnie threatened an officer after he was shot with a Taser gun. The gun has darts, or probes, that are shot at a person. The probes are connected to the weapon by high voltage insulated wire. When the probes hit, they pierce about a half inch into the body and shoot 50,000 volts of electricity. The Taser gun is supposed to immobilize the human target for five to 10 seconds. One witness said the police used the taser more than once on the victim.
When emergency personnel arrived they found Vinnie face down handcuffed behind his back. He had no pulse and was not breathing.
'Jail killer cops'
During the second demonstration demanding justice for Eddie Macklin, protesters gathered along the sidewalk as dozens of demonstrators passed out flyers in the street to cars driving by and urged them to join the action.
"Jail killer cops to save our community!" and "Murder is murder!" were among the signs carried by protesters. Support for the action was registered by the overwhelming response from drivers honking their car horns and slowing traffic.
Helena Talley, an 18-year-old Miami resident, said of the shooting of Macklin: "This is very wrong. They had him blocked off and yet they went and shot him. We don't want this happening to any more of our brothers, sisters, and cousins. This is a signal that Black folks need to come together. We'll probably get a little notice on this. I believe it will be noticed, maybe forgotten about--but we are not going to forget about this. We say 10-20-Life!"
This demand has been put forward because of the double standard for police officers and others charged with killing someone. Sentences for murder range from 10 to 20 years or life. The demand is for police to be sentenced according to the same regulations.
Henry Farmer, 41, of Liberty City said the cop's shooting of Macklin, "was wrong. The man was unarmed. There was no reason for him to get shot. Suspending the police with pay is not fair. They kill someone and they get a paid vacation."
At the rally Max Rameau, leader of Brothers of the Same Mind, a Miami Black rights organization, listed 18 demands for justice, including arresting killer cops, prosecuting the cop who killed Macklin, and no cover-ups by the police.
A call for a federal civil rights investigation was issued by Florida representative Carrie Meeks and. Rep. John Conyers Jr.
The demonstration ended with a candlelight vigil. Buses are currently being organized to take people to Macklin's wake in Pompano Beach and then to the funeral in West Palm Beach. A memorial demonstration was called for January 31 in Liberty City.
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