Gun-toting thugs are besieging Miami-Dade's inner-city neighborhoods, and county cops are missing in action. Since early December, more than a dozen people, including children, have been shot in unincorporated parts of Northwest Miami-Dade. Five of the victims are dead. On January 3, two others were fatally gunned down in Liberty City and Little Haiti.
According to a law enforcement source, the spike in gun violence is a direct result of the Miami-Dade Police Department putting an end to special task forces that tackle street crime. The days of the jump-out boys rounding up drug dealers, robbers, and killers are over.
The reason? Police are overreacting to black activists' complaints about law-abiding citizens getting thrown into jail along with the criminals, the source says. Miami-Dade's Northside District, which is responsible for enforcing the law in many of the county's predominantly black neighborhoods, is no longer looking for dope holes and is conducting fewer undercover sting operations or sweeps.
Right now it's a free-for-all, and the bad guys know it.
I called Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez for comment, but a department spokesperson didn't immediately respond. I'll add his comment if he bothers to call back.
The regular folks who aren't breaking the law are living in fear. They are terrified to call police because gangbangers kill snitches. According to my source, the top brass has made it clear they won't send officers unless they get an emergency call. It's a Mexican standoff between community activists and Perez.
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What the director fails to grasp is that activists are simply trying to stop police from kicking down the wrong doors. No one wants a gun shoved in a baby's face. Community leaders want the police to do their job right. Their training teaches them not to treat black people like residents of a Third-World country, and they shouldn't. But we want the killers and the drug dealers off the streets more than the police do.
Black residents of unincorporated Miami-Dade want to be able to walk their dogs at night or let their children play in the park without fear of getting shot. It's time to bring back real policing. If Perez doesn't want to let his officers do their jobs, Mayor Carlos Gimenez needs to step in. The mayor should get a police director who knows how to balance enforcing the law and protecting people's civil rights, as well as telling officers how to conduct themselves.
Maybe it's time for a new police director.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.