Police in Trayvon Martin's Hometown Detained 57,000 Innocent People in Five Years

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 30 2014 3:50 PM

Police in Trayvon Martin's Hometown Detained 57,000 Innocent People (Including a 99-Year-Old) in Five Years

The department's website.


According to a report by the Fusion network, police records in Miami Gardens, Florida—a Miami suburb of 110,000—indicate that, since 2008, its officers have detained a staggering 56,922 civilians for "stop and question" confrontations without finding cause to arrest them. (Miami Gardens is where Trayvon Martin lived with his mother; he was killed in Sanford, 230 miles north, on a trip with his father.)

Here's how the Fusion piece begins:

In the summer of 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida. 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.

In other cases, Fusion says, Miami Gardens police documents have identified individuals including a 5-year-old and a 99-year-old as "suspicious." One anonymous officer told the network that he had been "ordered to stop all black males between 15 and 30 years of age."

Meanwhile, even those who were ultimately arrested may still have been innocent; a resident named Earl Sampson, whose case was first reported on by the Miami Herald, has been arrested 71 times for trespassing at the convenience store where he works.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.



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