MIAMI – The Miami Community Police Benevolent Association is accusing Miami’s current Chief of Police Jorge Colina of the “past use of a racial slur,” which it says has “manifested into a continued cultural of misconduct that he has allowed to emanate within the police department.”
The historically black police organization is asking for the chief to be dismissed immediately and is calling for a national search for a new chief. The expression of “no confidence” echoes statements made by the association’s president last November, who urged for an investigation into claims of a hostile work environment and discriminatory practices at the department.
Since then, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a white police officer has demanded calls for racial equity and reforms to the criminal justice system. Last month, Colina released a video message that he posted on Twitter expressing how deeply disturbed he was by the Floyd case.
“I don’t think anyone can see that video and not be disturbed by it. It is very evident that what occurred there is wrong."
But some police of color on the force aren’t in agreement with the association. “We don’t want the decisiveness that the MCPBA is pushing,” Major Keandra Simmons of the Miami Police Department said.
Assistant Chief Cherise Gause said: “The MCPBA does not speak for all black officers in this department. We are here to represent a different perspective because we have not experienced what they are describing under Chief Colina’s leadership."
Yet another officer, Major Chiquita Butler, community engagement director for MPD, said: “This is the time for peace, unity. We are here to encourage people that we are here to heal, to help, and our main goal is to serve and protect, not create rhetoric.”