john-dudley_bw.jpgAnother police shooting on March 12 in West Kendall resulting in the death of another suspect should sound alarm bells in the U.S. Department of Justice. 

In the last four years, there have been an usual number of deaths involving South Florida police.  Most of the victims have been unarmed African Americans.

Furthermore, the most popular excuse used by Miami area police to justify these deadly shootings is that suspects were using their cars as a weapon.  However, the police have not provided any proof that this danger really existed.

What is strange about the shooting in West Kendall is that the suspect was shot dead in a police car. The circumstances are unbelievable. 

Miami-Dade police spokesman Detective Roy Rutland claims that officers showed up to investigate a suspect near a bicycle and a struggle ensued.  After the struggle, the suspect climbed into the police car, where he was shot to death by an officer because he was using the squad car as a weapon.  The result was that a black person was killed for being suspicious.  This is very concerning.

Suspects in a vehicle are easy targets. Once a person is seated inside a car, there is no room to escape.  These suspects are sitting ducks in what is essentially a death trap.

And, speaking of death traps, these local police shootings are reminiscent of death squads in Latin America.

A death squad is an armed police squad that conducts extrajudicial killings and assassinations. These killings are often conducted in ways meant to ensure secrecy and to avoid accountability.  Death squads often have the tacit or express support of the government, as a whole or in part. 

It is a crime for one or more persons acting under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. “Color of law” means that the person committing the act is using power given to him or her by a governmental agency, whether local, state or federal.

The types of law enforcement misconduct covered by these laws include excessive force, intentional false arrests or the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to another. Enforcement of these provisions does not require that any racial, religious or other discriminatory motive should exist.  Violations of these laws are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.

A simple Internet search of Miami police shooting yields a pattern of deadly confrontations with unarmed suspects. 

No one is safe.

John Dudley is a model, actor and freelance writer living in Miami Beach.  He may be reached at