#UseMeInstead: Lutheran Clergy Offers Pictures as Police Practice Targets

Categories: News

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The revelation earlier this month that the North Miami Beach Police Department was using mug shots of African-American men as practice targets sent shock waves across the nation. After initially trying to downplay the controversy, the department apologized, and the city council voted to ban the practice.

However, the outrage hasn't died down, and the hashtag #UseMeInstead is gaining steam, with people posting their own pictures as targets to protest racial profiling. The somewhat-surprising instigators of the hashtag: members of the Lutheran clergy.

See also: North Miami Beach Bans Offensive Mug Shot Targets but Stops Short of Firing Police Chief

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Miami Wants to Add 1,600 New Acres to Its City Limits

Categories: News

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Photo by Phillip Pessar | Flickr CC 2.0
Julia Tuttle, the mother of Miami.
By population and size, Miami is actually one of the smallest U.S. cities that anchors a major metro area. Well, local leaders want to make the city a bit bigger.

The plan is to try to annex 1,600 acres around the Miami River and near the airport. Though that's not a huge amount of land, it could lead to a huge increase in tax revenues.

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Miami Expected to Be Florida's Slowest Growing Area Over Next 15 Years

Categories: News

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via Urban Institute
Florida just overtook New York to become the third most populous state, and our population growth isn't expected to slow down anytime soon. According to a new interactive analysis from the Urban Institute, Florida should add 4.1 million new citizens between the official 2010 census tallies and 2030. That's a change of 21.69 percent.

However, not all areas in the state are expected to benefit. In fact, the Miami and Fort Lauderdale metro area is only expected to see its population increase by 6.94 percent by 2030. That's the lowest of any area in Florida by far, and only represents a population growth of 303,101 people between Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties.

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Video: Hundreds of Bikers, ATV Riders Shut Down Traffic in MLK Day Protest Ride

Categories: News

via chillass_neka's Instagram
Bikers gathered en masse after sharing the hashtag #GunsDownBikesUp.
Miami drivers are used to plenty of odd sights on I-95, but the late-afternoon holiday crowd yesterday caught an eyeful even for South Florida: hundreds of riders on dirt bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs swarming through the highway traffic, many of them popping wheelies and weaving between lanes.

Motorists and cops were outraged, but the riders say the impromptu mass journey was meant to inspire peaceful protest on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The gathering came together under the trending hashtag #BikesUpGunsDown after a popular stunt rider in Philly was murdered.

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U.S. Won't Let "Bitcoin Jesus" Who Renounced His Citizenship Come To Miami For Conference

Categories: News

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Courtesy of Roger Ver
Roger Ver renounced his U.S. citizenship for a small Caribbean island nation and the feds won't let him back into his home country.
As the North American Bitcoin Conference begins today in Miami, thousands of techies and enthusiasts are converging upon the city ready to learn all about the digital currency. But Roger Ver won't be coming.

Ver -- a 35-year-old, self-made millionaire -- was denied a U.S. visa, even though he was born and raised in Silicon Valley. But Ver renounced his citizenship in 2014, trading the Stars and Stripes for the small Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

See also: As Bitcoin Conference Comes to Miami, Arrests, Hacks Leave E-Currency Shaky

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Hundreds Evacuated From North Miami Beach Costco Six Years After It Burned Down

Categories: El Jefe, News

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Courtesy of the City of North Miami Beach
For the second time in six years, a fire has broken out at a North Miami Beach Costco store, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of customers and staff.

The blaze broke out around noon Monday on a top shelf near the pharmacy. The lights quickly went out a few minutes later. Shoppers and employees were all hustled out through the front door after an alarm went off. Fire exits were not immediately opened. Outside, a cashier directed traffic.

"People started running, and the staff told them to slow down," one shopper said. "I'm not sure why they didn't open those doors."

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Hundreds Gather on Lincoln Road for "Je Suis Charlie" Rally in South Beach

Categories: News

Photo by Tim Elfrink
In the wake of this morning's devastating terrorist attack in Paris, where masked gunmen stormed the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people, spontaneous rallies have broken out from the Place de la Republique near the site of the attack to London, New York, and Berlin. The message has been simple: Je suis Charlie. I am Charlie.

Miami also showed its support for La Republique and for free speech. More than 200 gathered on Lincoln Road this evening, many chanting in French and passing around "Je suis Charlie" placards.

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Key Largo Teenager Dies After New Year's Day Tasering

Categories: News

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Facebook
Roberto Ornelas
Last week we published an investigation into Taser misuse by Miami police officers. The article unearthed dozens of instances of questionable Taser use, including 11 recent cases in which subjects died after being tasered.

Sadly, there is now another name to add to that list. Key Largo teenager Roberto Ornelas died today, almost a week after he was tasered by a Monroe County Sheriff's deputy.

"I don't want to judge anybody," said Roberto's father, Guadalupe, when asked if he thought the sheriff's office should have tasered his son. "My feelings are hurt, but at the same time I don't want to say anything more right now."

See also: Shock & Awe: Miami Cops Misuse Tasers, With Deadly Results

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Flu Hits Miami-Dade Hard, Particularly Children

Categories: News

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Photo by Courtney Carmody's Flickr | CC2.0
Thanks in part to a miscalculated flu vaccine this year, the flu outbreak has hit epidemic proportions, and Miami-Dade is no exception. Influenza caused 5.9 percent of emergency room visits between December 28 and January 3, according to the Miami Herald. That's up from 3.6 percent the same time last year.

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Finally, Equal Rights: Gays Can Marry in Florida

Categories: News

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Photo by George Martinez
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled Thursday that an injunction he had issued should be lifted, confirming an earlier decision that gays have a constitutional right to marry in Miami-Dade County.

"The Constitution requires the Clerk to issue [marriage] licenses," he wrote.

Florida's conservative attorney general, Pam Bondi, who had strenuously opposed the order, surrendered. "We are glad the court has issued additional guidance," her office wrote in a news release. "My office will not stand in the way as Clerks decide how to proceed."

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