NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - On a quiet North Miami street, one of South Florida’s most notorious criminals is spreading a message of love.
"I look like the crazy old man in the neighborhood with all this hair and I have a rather nefarious past, so people know me from that," Mickey Munday said.
The former "cocaine cowboy" put Miami on the map as a drug capital back in the 1980s.
Munday has since left his criminal past behind and these days he’s focused on making a real difference in his neighborhood.
He has taken a vacant lot that the South Florida Water Management District uses to access the C-8 canal and turned it into "Lock-in Love Park."
"Bring your padlock, hang it on for your dog, your cat, your lover, your kids, your father, your mother and have some fun with it, " Munday said. "The idea is, put the padlock on, and if it has a key, throw it in the canal. So you're locked forever."
Munday worked on the park with up-and-coming artist and producer Maurizio Raponi and together turned a vacant lot into a community park.
"We want to get a lot of parks done like this, beautified and just promote positivity and love," Raponi said.
To draw people into the park, Raponi made a mobile metal sign that advertises their message of love.
The red sign simply reads, "Love."
"We're trying to make it so you can see love anywhere you are," Munday said. "Whichever direction you're coming from. I like to say, 'Love has no labels.'"
The message of the park is also that instead of talking about change, people should make it happen.
"People are always saying, 'Oh, we gotta do something.' Well, I went out and did it," Munday said.
It also helps Munday atone for his past.
"Does it make up for it? Maybe so. I hope so," he said. "I think this should have been done sooner."
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