Some lawyers have suggested that the FBI investigate the Miami Gardens police department. It’s a good idea. There is more than enough evidence to warrant a federal probe.
Earl Sampson can’t walk the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida – or even sleep in his own bed – without being harassed by the city’s overzealous police officers who are systematically targeting black men. Sampson, 28, has been stopped, questioned, and searched by Miami Gardens police more than 250 times in the last four years.
He has been arrested 62 times for trespassing at the Quickstop convenience store –where he works.
The situation has gotten so dire that Quickstop store owner Alex Saleh filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Miami Gardens police department on Sampson’s behalf, gave Sampson a bedroom in the back of the store to protect him from police, and installed video surveillance cameras to videotape police harassing Sampson.
And there’s more.
“In 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida,” Fusion reported. “According to the report filled out by the officer, he was “wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie and black gloves” giving the police “just cause” to question him. In the report, he was labeled a ‘suspicious person.’ He was an 11-year-old boy on his way to football practice.”
So Miami Gardens police have been exposed by the media for an outrageous racial profiling operation and possible civil rights violations. Now what? The new police chief, Stephen Johnson, is Black. Johnson took over as chief in May so none of the racial profiling and alleged civil rights violations happened on his watch. But how Johnson handles this situation moving forward is critical.
What will Johnson say to black men like Denzel Flowers, a 15-year-old who has been stopped 27 times, often in his neighborhood park in the middle of the day?
“We were all chillin’ in the park,” Flowers, who is now 20, told Fusion. “The police stopped everybody. Told us don’t move and ran everybody’s names.” Flowers has been stopped 27 times and arrested four times – but never convicted of a crime.
“I couldn’t leave my house without being in fear,” Flowers said.
Chief Johnson is only the second police chief of Miami Gardens. Last month, at his first Miami Gardens City Council meeting, Johnson gave out his cell phone number so residents can call him with concerns. He asked, however, that residents not call past 12:30 a.m.
“I would like to become more accessible for the community,” Johnson said. “I want to be out there. I want my command staff to be with me.”
Being accessible to the community is important, but eradicating racial profiling, ending racist stop-and-frisk tactics, and stopping his officers from unnecessarily harassing innocent Black citizens should be Johnson’s first priority.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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