Emotional Meeting Over Miami Police Shootings - NBC 6 South Florida

Emotional Meeting Over Miami Police Shootings

Families of men killed by police have their say before city commission



    Police-Involved Shootings Commission Meeting

    Their loved ones were killed by bullets fired by Miami police officers, and Thursday night the city's top cop and city commissioners listened to their stories and answered questions. (Published Friday, March 25, 2011)

    The tearful mother of a man shot and killed by Miami Police officers appeared before the City Commission Thursday night looking for answers.

    "I just feel mistreated in so many ways by these people who are sworn to protect the servants," said Shelia McNeil, whose 28-year-old son Travis was killed during a Feb. 10 traffic stop. "My son's hands were on that steering wheel when he died, I don't care what any officer or anybody else can tell you."
    McNeil was one of many in the room filled with the grieving loved ones of the seven black males shot and killed by Miami Police from July 2010 to February 2011.

    While it was reported that several of the men were armed, two of them, including McNeil, were unarmed.
    "All I wanna know is what happened to my child," McNeil said.

    The city's top cop, Miguel Exposito, and members of the commission listened to the families' stories and answered questions at Thursday's meeting.
    After the public forum, Chief Exposito said the shootings stemmed from a crack down on inner city neighborhoods plagued with drugs and violence.
    "Some of the things that were said here were inaccurate," Exposito said after the meeting.

    Congresswoman Frederika Wilson has asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether the shootings were racially motivated. Exposito says he was the first to welcome the FBI.
    "One of the things that I did, that none of my predecessors did and probably most of the police chiefs in the country do not do, is I invited the FBI to sit in our post-shooting reviews," Exposito said.
    Along with the families, Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Richard Dunn have called for Exposito's resignation, citing an aggressive leadership style. The investigation is in the hands of the State Attorney's Office led by Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

    Exposito emphatically stated that under his leadership, crime has decreased significantly.
    "I think these guys are actually doing a good job and I can't say they're doing anything wrong until Ms. Rundle's office says that they were involved in an unjustified shooting," he said.

    Most of the officers involved in the shootings are back on the streets, Exposito said.