Families of Seven Men Killed in Police Shootings Speak At Commission Meeting Today

Willa Mae Reed cries when she remembers the last time she saw her grandson, Tarnorris Tyrell Gaye. "He said he was getting a haircut, and he kissed me goodbye," Reed tells Riptide. "I still got a lot of questions about what happened next."

Gaye was shot and killed by Miami police in December -- one of seven black men killed by the force since last summer. The families of those men will ask the Miami City Commission today to back the firing of Chief Miguel Exposito, adding heat to a department put in a national spotlight by the New York Times this week.

The plea by family members at City Hall will add to a chorus that already includes Commissioner Richard Dunne, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson and numerous activists who say that Exposito's cops have used unnecessary force in Miami's black neighborhoods.

The families expect to speak around 5 or 6 p.m., says Brian Dennis, executive director of community group Brothers of the Same Mind.

Marc Sarnoff has also invited Paul Philip, the ex-FBI chief hired by the city to audit the department, to speak. Philip caused a stir by backing the chief in his week's New York Times story on the shootings.

Reed says she wants more answers from police, who have refused to turn over records related to the shootings to a civilian oversight board.

"I have no problem with police, but we deserve to know what really happened," she says.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink