Miami mocked for unveiling African-themed police cruiser to celebrate Black History Month
Miami police were mocked after unveiling an African-themed police car to commemorate Black History Month.
Mayor Francis Suarez presented the cruiser that was designed by the city police union on Thursday alongside Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales.
The car displayed the ‘Black Power’ symbol along with African flags and the slogan ‘Miami police support Black History Month.’
‘This is a beautiful collaboration to commemorate Black history and Black History Month and the history of African Americans and our police department and our city,’ Suarez said at the press conference. ”This is Black history.’
While officials posed proudly by the car, some spectators were in disbelief.
Miami police are slammed for designing an African-themed police car to honor Black History Month. The car made a debut on Thursday
Many were quick to voice their opinions on Twitter.
‘THIS CANNOT BE,’ Sherrilyn Ifill, Former President of NAACP Legal Defense Fund, wrote.
‘Policing is fixed now. Thank you, police car,’ another person added.
The Black Live Matter Twitter account also commented on the matter by posting a gif of Cardi B saying, ‘I just hate it.’
‘This has to be the clearest representation of being out of touch with reality because you have to be joking,’ another wrote.
The car displayed the ‘Black Power’ symbol along with African flags and the slogan ‘Miami police support Black History Month’
Several people weren’t as proud of the department’s way of celebrating Black History Month and were quick to voice their opinions on Twitter
The Black Live Matter Twitter account also commented on the matter by posting a gif of Cardi B saying, ‘I just hate it’
The police department proudly showed off the car while having current and former officers pose alongside it.
‘Today we honor and celebrate Miami Police Black History with unveiling of our new Black History vehicle,’ the police department tweeted.
‘Among all of the officers who were in attendance to commemorate the unveiling were some of our very first black police officers.’
Critics went on to question how much the cruiser design cost, adding it was a waste of tax payer funds.
‘For regular folks to get a vehicle wrap is about $5k,’ one person wrote. ‘Add in the custom design and government inefficiency… probably upwards of $50k. We should do a FOIA request and find out.’
Following the backlash, Mayor Suarez’s office claimed they had nothing to do with the design of the car for Black History Month, reporter Joshua Ceballos said.
‘I just spoke to Black police union @mcpba1946 president Stanley Jean-Poix,’ Ceballos wrote on Twitter.
‘He said Mayor Suarez’s office had nothing to do with the design of the car, and the design had the full approval of the union before it was unveiled.’
‘It celebrates our African ancestry,’ Jean-Poix told Ceballos.
Following the backlash, Mayor Suarez’s office claimed they had nothing to do with the design of the car for Black History Month
The Black History Month themed car was released nearly a week after protests broke out across the nation after footage of a hostile traffic stop left Tyre Nichols dead.
The 29-year-old unarmed black man who was brutally beaten following a traffic stop on January 7. Nichols died on January 10, three days after he was brutally beaten by several Memphis police officers.
Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean were later charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression in the fatal beating of Nichols.
Preston Hemphill was also suspended with pay pending a hearing, but has so far been spared the criminal charges filed against his five police colleagues.
Hemphill, 26, who joined the force in 2018, wore the body-camera that captured the first of four videos released by authorities on Friday of the traffic stop and violent confrontation that followed.
A seventh officer who was not immediately identified has also been relieved of duty without pay, the police department said.
The Black History Month themed car was released nearly a week after protests broke out across the nation after footage of a hostile traffic stop left Tyre Nichols dead
Five Memphis police officers, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean, are all facing murder charges for their involvement in Nichols’ death
Preston Hemphill has been suspended with pay pending a hearing, but was spared criminal charges