Federal Trayvon Martin probe is just a coverup
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke scoffs at the Justice Department's investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin.
Ever since I heard the 911 tapes of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin screaming for help before he was shot dead, I haven't been able to get the boy's cries out of my mind. His murder at the hands of self-proclaimed watchdog George Zimmerman has caught the attention of the national media and the NAACP.
Last week, many breathed a sigh of relief when the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would investigate the teen's death. Even African-American Congresswoman Frederica Wilson applauded the feds for getting involved.
I'm not counting on the DOJ. The feds just jump in to keep everybody calm and from rioting in the streets. In fact, they've failed in several high-profile civil rights cases.
Ten years ago, the feds conducted a civil rights probe into the Miami Police Department after five officers were criminally indicted in the coverup of their unjustified shooting of a 73-year-old suspect. In 2003, after an eight-month inquiry, the Justice Department concluded it could not prove that Miami PD policies resulted in civil rights violations — even though there were serious flaws in the way officers conducted searches and seizures and used their firearms and police dogs against African-American suspects. Nothing has changed.
Last year, the feds announced a new investigation into the Miami PD, this time for police-involved shootings of seven African-American men in Overtown and Liberty City during the reign of former chief Miguel Exposito.
In 2010, the Justice Department decided not to criminally charge any of the eight Bay County, Florida boot camp employees involved in the beating death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson. Despite analyzing a "NASA-enhanced" video of the teen's savage beatdown and interviews with more than 40 witnesses, the DOJ concluded it had insufficient evidence to prosecute anyone.
And last December, the feds concluded a three-year investigation into Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, finding that the police force repeatedly arrested Latinos illegally, abused them in county jails, and failed to investigate hundreds of sexual assaults. Yet the DOJ didn't file criminal charges against the force's controversial sheriff, Joe Arpaio, or any of his subordinates.
Unfortunately for Trayvon's family, the Justice Department will fail in this case too.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.