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Smoldering Liberty City: Remembering The McDuffie Riots

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State Archives of Florida

Thirty-five years ago, Miami's Liberty City was smoldering -- flames leapt from the shells of cars while people looted businesses.

Eighteen people died, and more than $100 million worth of property was destroyed.

The McDuffie Riots were more violent than what happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, but there are lots of similarities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW8Ybu-2-IM

The destruction here came after a slew of confrontations between police and black Miamians. The tension reached its peak when police were acquitted in the death of Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance broker from a well respected family.

Press play to hear from three Miamians who witnessed the riots, and scroll below to see images from Liberty City's streets then.

 

Smoldering Liberty City: Remembering The McDuffie Riots
Click to listen to part two of this story.
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Credit State Archives of Florida
A victim of riot violence is treated in Liberty City.
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Credit State Archives of Florida
A checkpoint was set up around sections of Liberty City. Movement in and out of the area was severely restricted.
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Credit Miami Herald
The front page of the Miami Herald on Sunday May 18, 1980, the second day of the riots.
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Credit State Archives of Florida
A looted store in Liberty City.

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Credit State Archives of Florida
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Credit State Archives of Florida