University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of the Miami Police Department PN-FL-0001
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In 2002, Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz and Miami Police Chief Raul Martinez separately requested that the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the polices, practices and procedures of the Miami Police Department. The DOJ conducted an investigation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ... read more >
In 2002, Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz and Miami Police Chief Raul Martinez separately requested that the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the polices, practices and procedures of the Miami Police Department. The DOJ conducted an investigation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and issued a technical assistance letter to the department on March 13, 2003. In the letter, the DOJ made specific recommendations regarding changes to the department's written policies in the following areas: use of force and use of force reporting, vehicle pursuit driving policy, search and seizure, complaints and investigations, early warning system, training, and structure of the operations manual generally.

In January 2006, the DOJ issued a follow-up technical assistance letter recommending that MPD improve training for line supervisors and Internal Affairs investigators in interview techniques, assessing the credibility of witnesses, and impartiality in the interview process. The DOJ recommended that training emphasize that investigators should consider all relevant evidence, including circumstantial, direct, and physical evidence, as appropriate, in making credibility determinations. In response to the technical assistance, MPD revised its policies, procedures and practices to ensure that every use of force is reported and adequately investigated. MPD made important changes to its policies that significantly restricted the use of deadly force. As a result, the DOJ closed the investigation without a formal agreement in 2006.

Dan Dalton - 01/22/2007
Richard Jolly - 11/25/2014
Jessica Kincaid - 03/21/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Improper use of canines
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Racial profiling
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Miami Police Department
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Date: Jan. 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Bravo v. Board of Commissioners of Dona Ana County
http://www.bazelon.org/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Investigation of the Miami Police Department
PN-FL-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/13/2003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PN-FL-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Vilarello, Alejandro (Florida)
PN-FL-0001-0001
Wysong, George (Florida)
PN-FL-0001-0001

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