Miami All Quiet After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Sparks Protests Across the Country

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year.
Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year.
Jamelle Bouie via Wikimedia Commons

A grand jury's decision not to indict the cop who three months ago killed unarmed teenager Mike Brown sparked protests across the country last night.

Ferguson, Missouri, is still smoldering this morning after looting, teargas, arson, armored vehicles, and gunshots turned the St. Louis suburb into something resembling a war zone. Despite demonstrations in other major American cities, Miami remained calm, however.

"No, nothing," said a Miami Police sergeant reached at 1 a.m. "It's actually been very quiet."

Miami-Dade Police indicated they also had no reports of riots or protests.

"I haven't called out any PIOs in the last few hours," a MDPD officer said. "That should tell you something."

The quiet night in Miami stood in contrast to scenes of shattered glass, cops in riot gear, and burning buildings in Ferguson, where 18-year-old African-American Mike Brown was shot to death August 9 by white police officer Darren Wilson.

In documents released after the grand jury's decision was announced, Wilson claimed he was afraid for his life after Brown allegedly punched him twice.

Photos of the officer did not appear to show any significant injuries, however. Brown, who had no criminal record and was planning to attend college this fall, was shot at least six times, including once in the head.

The police-involved shooting has reverberated across the nation, including here in Miami. This city is no stranger to controversial, police-involved killings.

Miami was the stage for the 1980 McDuffie riots, when an African-American man, Arthur McDuffie, was beaten to death by four white MDPD officers after running a red light on his motorcycle. (The cops were indicted for manslaughter. When a jury acquitted them, however, violence broke out.)

In 2003, four Miami Police officers were convicted of conspiracy charges after planting "throw-down" guns on three young black men they had killed.

More recently, the Department of Justice slammed Miami Police for killing seven young black men -- two of whom were unarmed -- over the course of eight months.

But unlike New York (where demonstrators apparently shut down the city's bridges), Los Angeles, Seattle, and other major American cities where protesters took to the streets last night, Miami hasn't yet seen any fallout from the Ferguson decision.

Although no protests appear to have occurred last night in Miami, social media posts suggest a demonstration is planned for today at noon.

Eight protesters were arrested at a similar protest in August.

Send your tips to the author, or follow him on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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