Miami's colony of sex offenders is a lot like a big, stubborn pimple on the nose of the city: Nobody likes it and yet it just keeps growing. So it's no surprise that after nearly two years of policymakers ignoring the problem, it's gotten uglier.
In response, Miami city commissioners passed a good-intentioned, if somewhat toothless resolution yesterday. To sum it up: The city will ask the state to form a task force to study and solve the public-safety-meets-human-rights nightmare. The group will consist of law enforcement, researchers, lawmakers, and social justice advocates.
"Until we put the Governor on the spot, he will do nothing," Commissioner Marc Sarnoff told a late-morning city hall crowd of about twenty. "Until you put a politician on the spot, he will do nothing."
In the audience, a slim African American fellow nodded with an ironic little smirk. A poised, well-dressed women from the ACLU scribbled something onto a notebook. And Commissioner Tomas Regaldo took a call on his cell phone.
(More after jump.)
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Afterwards, Miami Chief of Police John Timoney complained the encampment has "caused a great deal of strain on police recourses."
The bridge is one of the only places in Miami-Dade that doesn't violate an ordinance restricting offenders from living 2,500 from a school. The state sanctioned tent settlement has more than doubled since New Times broke the story in 2007.
Residents seem collectively unconvinced the city's new motion will do much. They have watched the elderly, the clinically insane, and the tremendously violent set up camp and flee the close quarters for past two years.
Says 31 year-old Juan Martin, who was convicted of exposing himself to a teenage girl: "Come on; nothing ever changes. I'm gonna be under here for the rest of my natural mother fucking life."