Activists call for State Attorney Fernandez Rundle to step down

MIAMI – A group of organizers gathered Friday to call for Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s resignation and to spotlight cases in which they say the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County’s office failed to do its job.

Members of several local democratic caucuses and activists convened on 12th Avenue in Miami to call on Fernandez Rundle to end her campaign for re-election after what they describe as a failure to charge any law enforcement officer in an on-duty killing during her 27 years in office.

Several people who lost loved ones in connection with encounters with law enforcement were also there to speak about their cases. Among them was Crystal Foster whose brother Edward Foster III was shot and killed by a Homestead police officer in 2015.

The family says the case has gone nowhere.

“We want justice,” Crystal Foster said. “There’s no body cameras in Homestead, and we need answers. My brother is the third person that was killed by this officer. My brother was shot in the back multiple times in broad daylight. We need new leadership in this office.”

Fernandez Rundle’s office issued a statement Friday saying that Edward Foster’s case remains open.

“For weeks now we have been trying to obtain contact information to schedule the taking of a sworn statement of an individual who indicated online that he was an eyewitness to the shooting,” the statement said. “To date, we still have not been able to accomplish that task. According to information we received, the witness has refused to meet at MDPD Headquarters or our office for the taking of that statement.

“It is absolutely essential that we collect and review all possible evidence and interview all eyewitnesses in order to have a complete and thorough understanding of the facts before we conclude our investigation,” the statement continued. “Once that has been accomplished, we will conclude our investigation, finalize our report and forward it to our Police Shooting Review Committee.”

On Friday, Charles M. Baron, Esq., the attorney representing the family of Edward Foster contacted Local 10 via email stating: “The State Attorney’s Office statement that they’ve been trying for weeks to obtain contact information for the subject eyewitness is misleading.” Baron said that Crystal Foster had located the witness “who stated he is willing to be immediately interviewed via videoconference, as he did not want to release his address.”

Baron lists a series of events that Crystal Foster and Baron have executed to reach out to the State Attorney’s Office to obtain the witness statement.

Activists are also calling for Florida legislators to pass a law setting term limits for state attorneys.

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