Twenty-five years after Miami’s “McDuffie riots,” relations between South Florida police and black residents have come a long way — but, many say, not far enough, the Miami Herald reports. Miami and Miami-Dade County police have made changes in hiring, training, and community involvement aimed at improving communication with a population that long saw them as a hostile, occupying force. They have created new rules of engagement, establishing mobile field forces to quell violence before it escalates.
Black leaders and allies have pushed for more reforms, achieving creation of independent civilian review boards and investigations of police tactics. They have gone to the streets to talk with young black men about how to relate to white police officers. Each side recognizes that more is needed to bridge the chasm created in 1980 in three days of violence that resulted in 18 deaths. It erupted after an all-white jury acquitted four white policemen charged with beating a black motorcyclist to death. The Herald provides a detailed look at the region’s police-community relations in the last 25 years.