The Miami Police Department admitted minor mistakes during November’s free-trade meeting but called the event an “overall success” in an internal review released yesterday, says the Miami Herald. The department coordinated security efforts of 39 agencies during the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting. Some law enforcement agencies wore riot gear when there were no disturbances. And efforts to work as one entity occasionally failed, including a Miami Beach officer’s using tear gas although the public had been assured it would not be used.
Otherwise, the Herald called the 66-page report “a pat on the back from a department that has been accused of heavy-handed tactics during the weeklong deployment.” The report concluded that “the people and businesses of Miami faced a minimum of inconvenience with resiliency and good humor. Those who came to commit violence faced an intelligent, measured police plan determined to minimize the effect of their criminal tactics.”
Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, president of the Miami Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union termed the report a “police whitewash.” In the report, “all the responsibility falls on the protesters, or people who they call ‘violent mobs,’ ” she said. “But they weren’t the ones shooting people in the head.”
The department is investigating the case of Carl Kesser, a filmmaker who was hit in the head by a beanbag. The report was released on the eve of a presentation before Miami’s Civilian Investigative Panel, an independent agency.