WASHINGTON - AUGUST 28: The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks before leading a march on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil rights March on Washington, at Dunbar High School on August 28, 2010 in Washington, DC. Thousands joined Sharpton at the Capitol for his 'Reclaim the Dream' rally to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous 'I Have a Dream' speech. It also was counter-protest to a rally being held by Fox News conservative talk show host Glenn Beck in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
The civil rights leader spoke Monday night at an NAACP meeting for the Miami-Dade branch, where he announced that he'd already written a formal request to the Justice Department, with Congresswoman Fredricka Wilson, asking them to investigate whether police misconduct may be to blame in these cases.
"We need to examine, from a federal level, how you can go over 20 months, I think it's 22 months, with no shootings and then all of a sudden in seven months it's about a shooting a month," Sharpton said. "There's something that changed."
Since July 2010, seven African-American men have been shot and killed by Miami Police, two of them reportedly unarmed.
Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito has been under fire by critics, including Mayor Tomas Regalado, who say his leadership has fostered a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality in the department.
Over the weekend, Exposito sent a letter to the Miami Herald, saying he has no problem with a federal investigation.
"I welcome a federal probe into the Miami police-involved shootings. So much so that I invited the FBI to be present at the post-shooting reviews conducted under my watch," Exposito's letter reads. "As mentioned, I embrace a federal probe into our shootings; however, I also welcome a probe into the political interference that is compromising the integrity of the Miami Police Department."