“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” wrote the European poet George Santayana. Now it seems that city of Miami government and police officials are bent on trying to prove that 100 years after those words were written they no longer have relevance.

It is a fool’s idea.

It does not take any great alacrity of the brain to recall that violent street rebellion consumed parts of Greater Miami at least three times in the early 1980s because police officers seemed to believe they could kill young black men with impunity.

A similar situation exists today with the killing of seven African-American men since last July. It is evident from the reaction of the community and community leaders that there has been no satisfactory response from the authorities. At a press conference held Tuesday by the NAACP and the ACLU, there was an alarming claim that a police task force has been behaving like a “death squad” and that the community is sitting on a powder keg just waiting to explode.

It is not difficult to see what the signs are pointing to.  Nobody wants disturbances in the community, but Miami has a history of taking a laissez faire approach to community concerns regarding the police and reacting only when outrage boils over. Is that what they are waiting for again?