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Case: DOJ Investigation of City of Miami Police Department

No Court

Filed Date: July 9, 2013

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 9, 2013, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a letter of findings of their investigation of the City of Miami Police Department (MPD). The investigation was to determine whether, in violation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141, the MPD engaged in a pattern of excessive use of deadly force by firearms in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizur…

On July 9, 2013, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a letter of findings of their investigation of the City of Miami Police Department (MPD). The investigation was to determine whether, in violation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141, the MPD engaged in a pattern of excessive use of deadly force by firearms in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizures. The DOJ found reasonable cause to believe that this was the case.

The DOJ had previously investigated the MPD in 2002, and in response the MPD appeared to ameliorate its deficiencies, according to the press release issued by the DOJ. After the closure of the 2002 investigation, the DOJ's most recent investigation found many of the same problems were still present in the Department.

The evidence cited by the DOJ included a sharp increase in police officers shooting citizens. According to the DOJ, between 2008 and 2011, there were 33 shootings. In addition, the investigations of those shootings were not conducted in a timely manner, which meant that at least one police officer under investigation continued to shoot civilians in the course of their ongoing duties. The Department in their own internal investigations found at least three shootings to be unjustified. The DOJ suggested that tactical and training deficiencies were likely the cause of some of the unjustified shootings.

In February of 2016, the DOJ and MPD reached a agreement to improve these conditions. According to the DOJ website, an independent reviewer will monitor the terms of the agreement to ensure the MPD implements the following measures:

 

  • Enhanced supervision of first-line officers;
  • Enhanced training, including de-escalation training;
  • Improvements to internal investigations of officer-involved shootings;
  • A more stringent mechanism under which a shooting officer’s return to work is authorized;
  • A mechanism to ensure community participation in the monitoring process.

 

The city agreed to have full compliance with the agreement within one year of the agreement date. However, the city also agreed to continue to provide reports every four months to the DOJ indefinitely.

Summary Authors

Amanda Kenner (3/16/2017)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)

Ferrer, Wilfredo A (Florida)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Harrell-James, Veronica Vanessa (Florida)

Hart, Charles W. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Moossy, Robert J. (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Trainor, Cathleen (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)

Ferrer, Wilfredo A (Florida)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Harrell-James, Veronica Vanessa (Florida)

Hart, Charles W. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Moossy, Robert J. (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Trainor, Cathleen (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Mendéz, Victoria (Florida)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Castor, Jane (Florida)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

Aug. 24, 2011

Aug. 24, 2011

Findings Letter/Report

Investigación del Departamento de Policía de la Ciudad de Miami [Findings Letter (Spanish)]

July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

Envestigasyon Vil sou Depatman Lapolis Miami [Findings Letter (Creole)]

July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

Justice Department Releases Investigative Findings on the City of Miami Police Department and Officer-involved Shootings

[City of Miami Police Department]

July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

Press Release

Correspondence Re: Investigation of City of Miami Police Department

July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

Agreement Between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Miami Regarding the City of Miami Police Department

March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016

Settlement Agreement

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with the City of Miami and the Miami Police Department to Implement Reforms on Officer-Involved Shootings

[City of Miami Police Department]

Aug. 16, 2016

Aug. 16, 2016

Press Release

First Quarterly Report

Miami Police Department

Dec. 1, 2016

Dec. 1, 2016

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 16, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 9, 2013

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Miami Police Department , City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2016 - None

Content of Injunction:

Monitoring

Training

Issues

General:

Aggressive behavior

Excessive force

Incident/accident reporting & investigations