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Miami Riots, May 1980 - After Action Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
233 pages

This document is a summary of the After-action reports compiled by the City of Miami Police Department during the civil disorder in the city of Miami, Fla., from May 17-19, 1980.


The general events leading up to the riot, the results of two court cases (the Johnny Jones case and the Arthur McDuffie case) which seemed to act as catalysts precipitating the riot, and the chronology of the riot itself are presented in an overview of the riot. The series of criminal justice cases which were perceived as confirming the operation of a double standard of justice in Miami are detailed. In addition to the Johnny Jones and the Arthur McDuffie cases, these include the Randy Heath homicide by a white police officer, and a wrong house raid on the home of Nathaniel LaFleaur. Police intelligence focusing on the period immediately prior to the riot and on the perceived differential treatment of arriving Haitians and Cubans is discussed. A detailed chronology of the riot with maps and illustrating locations in the riot areas is presented. Data are offered on the homicides and injuries incurred during the riot. Other information pertinent to the disorders include leaflets and notices on public meetings; official announcements and press releases of the governor and the police department during the riots; Florida statutes governing riot control; a list of internal security investigations arising from the riots; statistical analyses of arrests, costs, and damages; the report of the Dade County Manager; and a comparison of the 1980 riot with the 1968 riot.