Thread: How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martinís Death

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  1. #1 How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martinís Death 
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    How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martinís Death

    By Robert Stacy McCain on 7.15.13 @ 1:05AM

    The February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martion might never have happened if school officials in Miami-Dade County had not instituted an unofficial policy of treating crimes as school disciplinary infractions. Revelations that emerged from an internal affairs investigation explain why Martin was not arrested when caught at school with stolen jewelry in October 2011 or with marijuana in February 2012. Instead, the teenager was suspended from school, the last time just days before he was shot dead by George Zimmerman.

    Trayvon Martin was not from Sanford, the town north of Orlando where he was shot in 2012 and where a jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder charges Saturday. Martin was from Miami Gardens, more than 200 miles away, and had come to Sanford to stay with his fatherís girlfriend Brandy Green at her home in the townhouse community where Zimmerman was in charge of the neighborhood watch. Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County, where both his father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, lived.

    Both of Trayvonís suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criiminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martinís death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for ďdecreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.Ē What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.

    In October 2011, after a video surveillance camera caught Martin writing graffiti on a door, MDSPD Office Darryl Dunn searched Martinís backpack, looking for the marker he had used. Officer Dunn found 12 pieces of womenís jewelry and a manís watch, along with a flathead screwdriver the officer described as a ďburglary tool.Ē The jewelry and watch, which Martin claimed he had gotten from a friend he refused to name, matched a description of items stolen during the October 2011 burglary of a house on 204th Terrace, about a half-mile from the school. However, because of Chief Hurleyís policy ďto lower the arrest rates,Ē as one MDSPD sergeant said in an internal investigation, the stolen jewerly was instead listed as ďfound propertyĒ and was never reported to Miami-Dade Police who were investigating the burglary. Similarly, in February 2012 when an MDSPD officer caught Martin with a small plastic bag containing marijuana residue, as well as a marijuana pipe, this was not treated as a crime, and instead Martin was suspended from school.

    Either of those incidents could have put Trayvon Martin into the custody of the juvenile justice system. However, because of Chief Hurleyís attempt to reduce the school crime statistics ó according to sworn testimony, officers were ďbasically told to lie and falsifyĒ reports ó Martin was never arrested. And if he had been arrested, he might never have been in Sanford the night of his fatal encounter with Zimmerman.

    In fact, the reason Zimmerman was patrolling the townhouse community the night of the February 2012 shooting was that there had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood, although there was no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any of those crimes.

    As for Chief Hurleyís policy, it was the controversy over Martinís death that accidentally exposed it. In March 2012, the Miami Herald reported on Martinís troubled history of disciplinary incidents at Krop High. Chief Hurley then launched the internal affairs investigation in an attempt to find out who had provided information to the reporter. During the course of that investigation, MDSPD officers and supervisors described Chief Hurleyís policy of not reporting crimes by students. Chief Hurley was subsequently accused of sexually harassing two female subordinates. He resigned in February, about a year after Trayvon Martinís death.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    In fact, the reason Zimmerman was patrolling the townhouse community the night of the February 2012 shooting was that there had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood, although there was no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any of those crimes.
    I do wonder what the burglary stats were both before and after he snuffed it, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DumbAss Tanker View Post
    I do wonder what the burglary stats were both before and after he snuffed it, though.
    The reason there had been a rash of burglaries is that Section 8 housing had just been installed in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the "gated community" in which Zimmerman and Brandy Green lived. The black newspaper The Grio explains that Sanford contained six housing projects "full of mold and falling apart for years".


    The six vacant housing projects are slated to be torn down, and the area redeveloped. There are plans for mixed income, single family homes. Many of the families who left the projects sifted out into greater Sanford, often receiving a less than warm welcome from the residents of the gated communities and other residential pockets in the city, like the Retreat at Twin Lakes, where Trayvon Martin was killed. After the recession devastated home prices across Florida, some homeowners began renting out their places, and HUD pays nearly all of the rent, making Section 8 an attractive offer for some desperate homeowners.

    Oliver said some homeowners associations actively fought the new residents, who received rent assistance from HUD, in some cases prompting the local chapter of the NAACP to get involved.

    “When they couldn’t stop them,” Oliver said, frustrated homeowners “started moving out.”

    As local activist Kenneth Bentley, who runs a Florida Front Porch program that provides after school tutoring and mentoring to Goldsboro area teens, put it, the middle – and sometimes lower middle class families who bought into the townhomes and gated developments around Sanford “wanted to get away from the ghetto, but here comes the ghetto following right behind them.



    It was the destruction of the housing projects and the movement of the Section 8 people from the projects to the better areas of Sanford that led to the rash of burglaries in Zimmerman's community.
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    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    All of this is irrelevant to the left and the animals. To the animals, blacks don't commit crimes. I should know. I have about 2,000 innocent political prisoners in the jail I work. No, they are a misunderstood race who've been oppressed ever since God kicked Adam and Eve out for eating apples.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    All of this is irrelevant to the left and the animals. To the animals, blacks don't commit crimes. I should know. I have about 2,000 innocent political prisoners in the jail I work. No, they are a misunderstood race who've been oppressed ever since God kicked Adam and Eve out for eating apples.
    Los Angeles has, apparently, some new "innocent" prisoners this morning:

    From the LA Times:

    14 arrested after Zimmerman verdict protest in L.A. turns violent

    Los Angeles police arrested 14 people overnight for failing to disperse after hundreds of protesters splintered off a peaceful demonstration in the Crenshaw district and began stomping cars and breaking windows.

    “It started off as a peaceful protest at Leimert Park,” said LAPD Officer Bruce Borihanh. “Unfortunately, a small group started disrupting it. It just got out of hand.”

    About 350 Los Angeles Police Department officers swarmed the Crenshaw district after groups of youths broke away from the demonstration protesting the George Zimmerman murder trial verdict.

    The group roamed Crenshaw Boulevard and neighboring streets breaking windows, setting fires and attacking several people. Among those attacked were a television reporter and his cameraman, according to law enforcement authorities.

    Reporter Dave Bryan and his cameraman, both of whom work for KCBS Channel 2 and KCAL Channel 9, were attacked and one of them was taken to a hospital with a possible concussion, Lt. Andy Neiman told The Times. ....

    ....Protesters stormed a Wal-Mart at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, pushing their way through as guards scrambled to close security gates. A short while later, LAPD officers wearing helmets and carrying batons swarmed the store as others marched through the parking lot.

    Young vandals who entered the Wal-Mart stormed in, threw merchandise on the ground and yelled, shoppers told a Times reporter. Some tried to break open the jewelry glass displays....


    (What interests me is that there were no firebombs, no fires. )
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    If the general public knew how many juvenile offenders are out in the community, they'd be shocked. The money for juvie facilities and treatment programs is not there, and it is a lot cheaper to keep them at home on probation.

    I don't know current per diem rates for locked juvenile facilities, but for a locked mental health placement for a foster kid, the rate is in the range of $280-320 per diem. The amounts are usually in the same range, but there are a lot less foster kids in need of lock-up than delinquents.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    If the general public knew how many juvenile offenders are out in the community, they'd be shocked. The money for juvie facilities and treatment programs is not there, and it is a lot cheaper to keep them at home on probation.

    I don't know current per diem rates for locked juvenile facilities, but for a locked mental health placement for a foster kid, the rate is in the range of $280-320 per diem. The amounts are usually in the same range, but there are a lot less foster kids in need of lock-up than delinquents.
    Are the public facilities? I know that some of the private ones have had some issues of giving kickbacks to judges, like the one in PA awhile back.
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