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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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