Moore, a 36-year-old African American, was shot in the head and killed by Miami cop Joseph Marin. Moore was unarmed and had come out of his car after being pulled over by the police. The cops claim a computer check of the car Moore was driving came up as a possible stolen car. They didnt complete a full check before stopping him. It turned out the car was not stolen. Officer Marin is on administrative leave, receiving full pay.
At the meeting several family members and residents of Overtown expressed their outrage and demanded answers from the police and city authorities. One person noted that while the police were telling everyone not to rush to judgment against the cops, they were vilifying Moore by releasing information to the press about his arrest record.
Dozens denounced the police killing, despite the fact that city authorities and the cops organized to intimidate anyone speaking out. In the back of the room facing those who got up to speak was a phalanx of about a dozen uniformed cops standing shoulder to shoulder.
The meeting was chaired by Miami City Commissioner Richard Dunn, who urged residents to let the process work and wait for the police to investigate themselves. The cops and city officials tried to put the onus for violence on the Black community by urging people not to riot.
Arguing that the cops should be trusted to investigate themselves, Police Chief Miguel Exposito said that he had been part of the 1997 prosecution of the one cop in Miami history who has ever been found guilty of planting a gun on a victim. Some audience members scoffed at the notion that only one cop in Miami has ever planted a gun.
Jovan Lamb, whose brother Kiana Lamb was killed by the cops in 2009, attended the meeting. In Miami young Black men are considered a target, he told the Militant. The cops responsible should be prosecuted for this case.
Ernest Mailhot, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for Miami City Commissioner in District 5, took the floor at the meeting. He pointed to the courage of the family in face of the brutal killing of Moore, and received applause from the crowd. Dunn then told him that he couldnt continue speaking because he was a candidate.
After the meeting many asked Mailhot what he had planned to say. Every candidate should be asked to take a stand against the police killing of Moore, he replied. Moores death was not an accident but an inevitable result of the role of the police, which is to punish working people and protect the propertied interests of the ruling rich.
Mailhot explained that the Socialist Workers campaign calls for the prosecution and jailing of Marin. Police brutality will only be eliminated when working people take political power out of the hands of the capitalist class, he said.
Deborah Liatos is the Socialist Workers candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida.
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