Miami Cop Cleared in Shooting of Unarmed Man Who Was Reaching For His Cellphone
During last year's string of questionable fatal shootings by Miami police, Officer Reinaldo Goyo shot and killed Travis McNeill, a 28-year-old unarmed black man during a traffic stop. The controversy stemming from the death was, in part, the reason that former police chief Miguel Exposito was fired, but prosecutors have decided not to charge Goyo with any crimes.
In the early hours of February 11, 2011, McNeill and his cousin were leaving a strip club in the Little Haiti neighborhood when they were surrounded by police cars.
"My nephew told me said they were leaving the club -- leaving the club and got about two blocks from the club and police swarmed them," McNeill's mother told the media at the time. "They hit the lights, they stopped. They were never given any warning about show your hands, freeze, step out of the car, the only thing that happened was gun fire."
After being stopped, prosecutors believe McNeill reached down to retrieve a cellphone that had slipped from his lap. Officer Goyo apparently thought he was reaching for a gun, and decided to open fire.
McNeill was killed. His cousin, Kareem Williams, 30, was shot three times but survived.
According to The Herald, prosecutors will not move forward with manslaughter chargers, and Goyo has been cleared. Despite McNeill's mother comments to the contrary, several officers say that McNeill repeatedly ignored orders to put his hands up. Prosecutors ultimately believed they could not disprove that Goyo did not have "reasonable fear that Mr. McNeil was reaching for a weapon."
McNeill's shooting was the seventh in a line of questionable shootings of young, black men by Miami Police under Exposito's leadership, and ultimately garnered national attention.
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