MIAMI – Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J. Perez decided to relieve a veteran police officer of duty and place him on an administrative assignment Thursday after a fatal police-involved shooting that killed a fugitive.
Detective Argemis Colome said Sgt. Eduardo Pares, a 16-year veteran who is months away from his 17th year of service with the department, shot Anthony Antonio Ford on Wednesday after the suspect ran from police during a traffic stop.
Colleagues said Pares is respected for his work with the crime suppression unit, which proactively identifies suspects of property crimes. The suspects often involve recidivists in problem areas. Pares was assisting other police officers within a perimeter.
"This action is not a determination of wrongdoing by any means," Colome said about Perez's decision to reassign Pares.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating the fatal police shooting, but Colome said the initial findings indicated the veteran detective was forced to shoot Ford during a confrontation in an alley.
Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera said Pares fired his weapon because he was in fear for his life when Ford didn't follow any of his commands.
"As a matter of fact, he turned around and he went for his waistband as if he was going for something, and the officer instinctively felt that his life was in danger," Rivera said.
Colome didn't identify Ford as being armed during the incident. Ford's girlfriend, Casey Brooks, doesn't deny he was troubled. Records show he was wanted for violating a five-year probationary term after a conviction and a seven-year prison sentence for armed robbery.
"He didn't have no weapons on him," Brooks, who is the mother of Ford's two children, told Local 10 News.
Colome said Ford was trying to get away from police after a traffic stop at Northwest 15th Avenue and Northwest 68th Terrace in Miami's Liberty Square neighborhood. About a dozen people, including friends, family and neighbors took to the streets to protest Thursday afternoon.
A woman held a up sign: "Who do you call when police murders?" A teenage girl held up a "Black Lives Matter" sign. Two boys and a girl joined the crowd of adults in chanting: "We want justice!"
Ford, 27, was with his cousin, Rodderick Ford, in a red Nissan sedan Wednesday night. Police officers said they both had outstanding warrants. Records show Rodderick Ford, also 27, has a long history of marijuana and cocaine possession.
"As detectives made their way back to the vehicle to place the subjects under arrest, one of the males fled on foot and the other male was immediately apprehended," Colome said. "A perimeter was established."
Anthony Ford, who was on probation until 2020, took off running. Leondra Williams said she saw him runaway after police officers had searched him and placed him in handcuffs.
Paramedics took Anthony Ford to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where doctors pronounced him dead. Colome said Pares wasn't injured during the incident.