Investigator Says Firing Fla. Chief Won't Stop Killings

MIAMI --

The City of Miami Community Relations Board tried to answer residents' questions Tuesday night about several recent police-involved shootings, but not all of the answers were well received.

Former FBI agent Paul Phillip was appointed by Miami's city manager to investigate what many have called a recent surge of police-involved shootings under the watch of Police Chief Miguel Exposito.

"If you are saying firing the chief is going to stop the killings I'm saying you are wrong," said Paul Phillip.

It was one of several bold statements Phillip made at Tuesday's meeting at Culver Community Center.

"You can look at this chart and say, 'They were all black males who got killed.' That's not really so," Phillip said. "'They were all unarmed.' That's not really so."

According to Phillip, the numbers aren't that different. In 2009, there were seven shootings in which an officer fired at a suspect, and in 2010, the year under fire, there were eight. These numbers do not include accidental shootings or shootings in which an animal was killed.

"I don't care if Exposito, he stays or he goes, but we need some answers," an Overtown resident said at the meeting.

Miami residents came out to hear from Phillip about the shootings. Many in the crowd were grieving relatives of the more than half-dozen black men fatally shot by police in 2010.

For most, all of the information now made public in the shootings means nothing without a ruling on the shootings. The families will have to continue to wait for the State Attorney's Office and then the Department of Justice to rule whether the shootings were justified.

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