Protesters lined the hall Thursday outside the courtroom where two brothers accused of fatally beating a man at a Perrine store in November entered their pleas.
Akil Larue Oliver, 34, died in the Nov. 18 incident at the Quick Shop Food Store at 9720 SW 168th St. His mother said he was killed over 7 cents and a pack of cigarettes.
According to the arrest report, Oliver was angry because he believed the store owner owed him "a small amount of money." Police said he went into the store, made a derogatory racial remark to the clerk, told him to go back to his country and made a profane comment about his mother and sisters.
Police said an off-duty Miami-Dade Department of Corrections officer and other customers tried to calm Oliver down, but he continued ranting. At one point, police said, he left the store, but then he returned and continued insulting the clerk.
According to the report, the officer was escorting Oliver from the store when employee Nabil Sulaiman, 19, hit Oliver with a bottle. Police said other employees joined in, and owner Ragheb Sulaiman, 24, got a crowbar and hit Oliver in the head. Oliver later was pronounced dead.
Nabil Sulaiman is charged with aggravated battery, and his brother, Ragheb Sulaiman, is charged with second-degree murder. Both pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Police have not released surveillance video of the incident, but they are expected to do so soon.
Community members have been protesting outside the Quick Shop Food Store in the hope of turning business away.
"We just want to shut it down and let the people know that you can't come to our community and do the things that you're doing. Respect goes a long ways," said one protester.
The protesters vowed to attend every hearing in the case and stand outside the store every day until it closes. Oliver's mother also has been protesting. She said she is there in the hope that other parents do not have to go through the same thing.
The defense attorney for the Sulaimans said he did not want to comment until he could see the surveillance video.
The trial is set for April 4.