On Monday evening, Aug. 2, a small group of protestors gathered peacefully across the street from the city of Miami’s police downtown headquarters to rally against the lack of forthcoming information in the fatal police shooting of DeCarlos Moore. The rally was organized by the Miami Coalition of Grass Roots Organizations for Justice.
Carrying signs with the slogans “You Can’t Justify Murder” and “End the Abuse,” about 20 people from various ethnic backgrounds and age groups came out to voice their disdain about the amount of time it has taken to get answers since 36-year-old Moore was killed by rookie police officer Joseph Marin.
Those in attendance said the slow pace of releasing information in Moore’s case was a typical example of police officers’ lack of accountability when involved in fatal shootings.
“It’s business as usual and it’s so typical. If this were the other way around, he’d (Moore) be in jail. There is no accountability and no justice. Overtown is not a war zone, it’s a community,” said Hunter Altschul, one of the protestors from South Florida Direct Action.
His sentiment was echoed by 20-year-old Jesse Nevel, who led the crowd in the call and response chant, “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it?
Now!” There on behalf of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, Nevel said Uhuru means freedom in Swahili and the organization takes a very strong stance against police brutality.
“We’re here to unite with the demand for justice for the people of Overtown who have never known a moment of rest from police brutality. Why has it been almost a month and we haven’t heard a single thing from the City of Miami,” said Nevel.
Other organizations represented in the crowd included the Women's Association and Alliance Against Injustice and Violence for Empowerment, Inc. (WAAIVE) and the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA).
WAAIVE Founder Renita Holmes said it’s unfortunate that residents can’t trust the police.
“There should be a set structure on how to deal with incidents like this. It’s getting to the point that I have to be afraid because I’m being shot by the people that are supposed to protect me,” Holmes said.
The Overtown community and Moore’s family have been asking for answers since Moore was killed by Marin on Monday, July 5 during a midday traffic stop.
According to sources, Marin was with training officer Viona Browne when they mistakenly identified Moore’s car as stolen. The officers ordered Moore out of the car and asked him to come toward them. Moore reportedly obeyed, then turned around and hurried back to the car to reach inside for something.
After Moore emerged from the car with what was later determined to be sunglasses in his hands, Marin fired, shooting Moore in the head. Sources say no weapon was found in Moore's car.
In response to the South Florida Times’ request for an update on the case, Officer Kenia Reyes, a spokesperson for the City of Miami Police Department said, “I’m sorry it’s an open investigation and we’re not able to speak about an open investigation.”