Miami Gardens' Top Cop Departs After Request For Federal Civil-Rights Probe

Dec 11, 2013

Miami Gardens police chief Matthew Boyd

The chief of the Miami Gardens police department resigned on Wednesday amid allegations that his officers have been harassing and intimidating local citizens.

Meanwhile, a response from the U. S. Justice Department is awaited after an NAACP request on Tuesday for a special civil rights investigation.

Some of the incidents are documented by security footage taken at a local convenience store where a store employee reportedly has been arrested and accused of trespassing 62 times while trying to work his shift.

Miami Gardens is a predominantly black city with a racially mixed police department. Pinpointing a racial motive may be difficult.

"This is really more about invasion of people's expectations of dignity," says NAACP special counsel David Honig. "It would be wrong, irrespective of whether it’s happening only to black people, but it seems that it is happening only to black people."

The city is already a defendant in two federal lawsuits that accuse it of civil-rights violations and discrimination by police.