Eight Protesters Arrested at Miami Federal Courthouse During Michael Brown Demonstration UPDATE

Categories: News

brown_protest_560.jpg
Photo by Sabrina Rodriguez
Protesters show their support for Michael Brown in downtown Miami.
Eight protesters were arrested at the James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building in downtown Miami Thursday afternoon.

Hundreds of demonstrators met in downtown Miami across from the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus to peacefully demand an end to police brutality in response to the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

See also: More photos from the Michael Brown demonstration in downtown Miami

Protesters, with their hands up, walked in silence to the federal courthouse where U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer's office is located. Their goal was to peacefully protest inside the lobby of the building until the U.S. attorney came downstairs to hear their demands.

After more than an hour in the lobby, protesters were escorted out of the building, which was closing for the night. But eight demonstrators decided to stay, leading to their arrest.

The protesters arrested were Alekos Zambrano, Andrew Arachikavitz, Vivian Azalia, Marie Paul, Shamile Louis, Curtis Hierro, Ciara Taylor, and Marcia Olivo. Seven of the protesters are a part of Dream Defenders, a youth organization that works to bring social change through nonviolent civil disobedience. Olivo is a part of Miami Workers Center, another local organization working for social justice.

It is unclear what charges the eight will face because they were arrested in a federal building. Neither the Miami-Dade Police Department nor the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami have responded to requests for comment from Riptide.

This is one of dozens of demonstrations being held across the nation tonight in solidarity with those protesting in Ferguson.

"Our U.S. attorney and the U.S. attorney general have the power to do a lot more for people brutalized by the police," said Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders. "We will continue to show solidarity with the people in Ferguson, Missouri, because this is unacceptable."

Early in the protest, demonstrators met across from the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus and chanted on a street corner. They yelled, "Hands up! Don't shoot!" and "No justice! No peace!" and "Not one more." Many of the protesters wore shirts representing Dream Defenders, Power U, and Miami Workers Center, which are all local organizations seeking social change through nonviolent ways.

Protesters, who asked that all police officers wear front-facing cameras at all times, then walked in silence, their hands up, toward the courthouse. They crowded the building's lobby and asked to see the U.S. attorney. Officers and building security then said that it was unlikely Ferrer would be available and that they should make an appointment with him instead.

"We're showing our solidarity to the people of Ferguson, Missouri, after they witnessed one of their own murdered in cold blood," Agnew said. "What they're doing is the reaction any human being would have after that."

Regardless, protesters resumed their chants, and multiple speakers voiced the group's demands. Two of the speakers were Vivian Azalia and Thiago Sousa, close friends of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez's, the teen graffiti artist who died after he was shot in the chest with a Taser fired by a Miami Beach Police officer last year.

"I don't want to be here, but I know I have to be here," Azalia said. "It makes so much sense to be here. I'm scared, but I will keep going until there's not one more."

It was the fourth night of protests in Ferguson after Michael Brown was shot multiple times by a police officer. Witnesses claim Brown and a friend were stopped by the police officer, who then attacked Brown. He was unarmed.

New Times sister paper Riverfront Times has more on the Michael Brown shooting and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.


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17 comments
DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

Racism as nothing to do with the self-destruction of the black community. That's a cope out. African Americans trying to sweep the problem under the rug are a serious I see that many posters will be blaming rap music and other entertainer for these problems. But the bottomline is that it starts with parents to taking a stand and being accountable. These issues stem from parents who are not taking care of their responsibilities. I realize these problems existed from generation to generation, however if we want this cycle of violence to end, then parents need to step up, stop pacifying the problems, and become accountable for your children. In order for these problems to end, it takes parents to provide better opportunities.

 I understand that jobs in these communities are limited and the education system is very poor, but we can't sit around and wait for opportunities to come to us, we have to fight for them. That is the way I see it. I forgot to mention that it was the invasion of crack cocaine that changed everything in the black community. Get the crack out of the community and change the whole landscape as far as the murder rate. Most of these crimes are being committed over the sale & use of drugs, mostly crack cocaine. It was crack being introduced in the inner cities, pure and simple. It's too much money being passed underground. THAT is where they should start. Then there needs to be a place for rehab for people who want it (most want help, if you didn't know) and job programs afterwards. Most people want to live a "normal" life, even black people in poor neighborhoods. It's time for the black community to finally admit that they have been quite ineffectual when it comes to education and parenting. Instead, we get all flustered when someone like Bill Cosby calls us out for our ineptitude.

 We rather get angry than change thing

 http://33.media.tumblr.com/211d29ac5d330896e401931879c85439/tumblr_na4fl7mxqD1qhz95yo1_500.gif

Chrystian Roure
Chrystian Roure

And yes if your trespassing you deserve to get arrested

Chrystian Roure
Chrystian Roure

Why dont they complain about the killings in Miami Gardens or the cop that killed the kid in Miami Beach. The dirty cops in Miami, but they want to protest about a incident that happen in Missouri. Worry bout ur own town or go move to Missouri

Michael Anthony Miller
Michael Anthony Miller

Way to stand up for your cause by refusing to leave at closing time. Powerful statement.

Roger Amador
Roger Amador

No but I am glad it is occurring. I have told you before it was simply a matter of time before a day of reckoning occurred. Hopefully this is just the beginning of something much larger. Police brutality is rampant in this country and not just against black people. People of all races are being brutalized. It has to end.

Sofia P
Sofia P

This makes me want to cry.

Abby Drake
Abby Drake

Here we go... Get ready for the race riots all over. I guess because the cop was white all whites are guilty huh. I don't agree with anyone unarmed being shot by a cop unless they deserved it. What are the facts?

undomiel152003
undomiel152003

@DRAKEMALLARD.0  While I agree with the comment in general, and always say: "Beat the Caucasians in their game. Become their CEOs, their Directors, their Presidents, their Doctors, etc.."   I think that Americans have to come to the conclusion that racism exists, and that most people are to a degree. Once, they have self -awareness (this also does include Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and Indians),  they must come to the conclusion that under scientific law we are almost 100% the same in our DNA, except for what makes us unique.  The rest is the same, therefore, whatever color of skin you have, or hair doesn't justify the mistreating, and the killing of an individual.  Which in this case was done unfairly.  Based on previous history of racism, I do admit that Brown's death, was racist to a large degree with a combination of the new "shoot" ask later mentality that cops have since most of these newer cops are from the Video game generation.  Do you know that the military uses video games to desensitize it's soldiers into killing point blank?  Food for thought.  Other than that, the Chief of Police tackled that the completely wrong way. 

DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

defacing someone's property and disobeying the police will get you kill

undomiel152003
undomiel152003

Actually, the facts are that the kid was shot at 6 times and one was behind the back. I apologize, but the cop was inside a car. A car is the biggest, weapon one can use, and it can separate you from someone especially if the said 6.4 man did not have a weapon. If he ever felt endangered, he could have driven to another spot, and then fired at the kid on his knee cap.  No excuses! None. Police are becoming burtal after all, these are the same kids that have been playing video games and have lost the fear of killing.  They fire, and then ask questions.  Notice, how the majority of the recent shootings, that have been happening to individuals, are coming from cops that are new in the force.  Under 40.  Guess how the US trains it's military to shoot? Do you know they use videogames made for that?

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