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Aessotariq

Liberty City riots - 25 years later

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Before Rodney King, there was Arthur McDuffie. May 17, 1980 marked the day when four white police officers were acquitted by a Tampa jury of fatally beating McDuffie after a high-speed chase, and trying to cover up the circumstances behind his death. In a city where racial tensions and distrust of police were already extremely high, this was the final straw. For three days, Liberty City and Overtown, Miami-Dade's poorest black neighborhoods, erupted in angst and violence and burned, and 18 people died. In many parts of these communities, the scars are still evident. Many businesses never returned, the populations decreased. Only now, in some places are businesses starting to come back. Twenty-five years later, The Herald looks back at this dark period in Miami history in a five-part series.

Part 1 - The McDuffie riots 25 years later

Mob's rage erupted into a killing frenzy

COMMENTARY - 1980 riots: Could they happen again? (by Marvin Dunn, Florida International University)

Part 2- Miami weathered post-riot challenges

Related Urbanplanet.org topic: [ Seventh Avenue: Liberty City merchants struggle ]

Twenty-five years later, the questions to ask are these: what to do to prevent this from happening again, and will long-broken promises to revitalize this neighbhorhood finally be kept?

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I have no idea about how to stop people from rioting but i know that they will really revitalize the city,its for their own good and their citizens too.It was just terrible what happen,hope it never happens again.

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a sad history that shouldn't be forgotten. I wasn't here then, so i'm glad the herald is returning to the story so we can all have a sense of what was going on then.

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A profile of several people whose lives were affected by the violence:

A girl, a doctor, activists, a businessman - all caught in the middle. Here are their stories.

BY ANDREA ROBINSON

Herald Staff

On May 17, 1980, Miami descended into anarchy when four white police officers were acquitted by an all-white jury in the beating death of black insurance salesman Arthur Lee McDuffie. Four days of beatings, shootings and arson fires ensued in Liberty City, Coconut Grove, Perrine and Opa-locka. At least 18 people were killed and more than $100 million in property was lost.

Profiles: Miami Herald

A timeline of the events: Chronology of the McDuffie riots

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Posted on Wed, May. 18, 2005

McDUFFIE RIOTS | 25 YEARS LATER

From family's wounds springs a vision of hope

Shederica McDuffie, daughter of Arthur McDuffie, now ministers to the community that was scarred by her father's violent death.

BY ANDREA ROBINSON

[email protected]

Evangelist Shederica McDuffie stepped to the lectern at a Sunday morning worship service in Liberty City. In powerful tones, she told the small congregation how she has traded ashes for beauty -- and how Miami can, too.

Ashes represent the low points of life, and McDuffie, eldest daughter of Arthur McDuffie, explained she has had a few of those. But through faith and prayer, she said, she has tried to overcome, and accept, the tragic loss of her beloved father in a police beating some 25 years ago.

More: Miami Herald

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Posted on Thu, May. 19, 2005

McDUFFIE RIOTS | 25 YEARS LATER

Bridging the divide

Reforms put in place after the McDuffie riots have brought police and inner-city communities closer, but the chasm hasn't been fully bridged, both sides say.

BY FRED TASKER

[email protected]

Twenty-five years after the McDuffie riots, relations between South Florida police and black residents have come a long way -- but, many say, not far enough.

Miami and Miami-Dade County police have made changes in hiring, training and community involvement aimed at improving communication with a population that long saw them as a hostile, occupying force. They have created new rules of engagement, establishing mobile field forces to move in quickly to quell violence before it escalates.

Black leaders and their allies have pushed for more reforms, achieving creation of independent civilian review boards and spurring investigations of police tactics. They have gone to the streets to talk with young black men about how to relate to white police officers.

Read more: Miami Herald

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