Community leaders in West Perrine hold meeting, discuss fatal police-involved shooting

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Members of a South Florida community are coming together to voice their concerns after a Miami-Dade Police officer opened fire and killed a man in their community.

The goal of the meeting was to give members of the community more information about a traffic stop that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Jamar Rollins. Rollins’ family came face-to-face with police officials at Tuesday night’s meeting at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church.

Many family members demanded answers as to what happened when Rollins was shot and killed. “This was not gun violence,” said Karen Harris, the 21-year-old’s aunt, when she took the stand. “This was an assassination.”

Rollins was killed by a Miami-Dade Police officer during a traffic stop, Friday night, on the 10100 block of West Indigo Street.

His mother and aunt confronted members of law enforcement, Tuesday. “That is my question. Why so many shots? Why so many? Once again — two in the leg, two in the arm, the other arm — they broke that arm — and then a chest shot,” Rollins’ mother said to Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez. “That’s my question.”

“That is not normal procedure,” Harris said. “Now, I’m not an officer, and I can’t tell y’all how to the job, but I watch ‘Law & Order,’ and I know that’s not normal procedure.”

Hundreds attended the meeting at Sweet Home Missionary, which is located just about a mile from where Rollins was killed.

According to Miami-Dade Police, officers Andrew Garcia and Jesus Coto were patrolling in the area of West Indigo Street and Homestead Avenue, in West Perrine, at about 6:55 p.m. on Friday.

Officials said Rollins was driving erratically and when they pulled the car over, the passenger took off running. As an officer approached Rollins, who was still behind the wheel, he was armed.

“The driver, the victim in this case, had a firearm on him and started stepping out of the vehicle with firearm in-hand towards the officer,” Perez said. “So that is what needs to be investigated by FDLE.”

The officers were place on administrative leave for three days following the shooting, police said, and are only allowed to return to work after completing a course. Miami-Dade Police said they are expected to return to duty on Thursday.

County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss called the meeting to ease concerns of the community while FDLE continues to investigate the shooting.

“It is a tragedy. No matter what the circumstances,” Moss said.

FDLE representatives and local pastors also spoke at the meeting, but not much could be said to settle concerns in the crowd as Rollins’ family wait for the official investigation.

“But in responding to what has happened to my nephew, I’m asking you to specifically deal with the weapon that was found in the car, the weapon that was used to kill him and the officer who did it,” Harris said to Perez.

Police continue to search for the passenger. Tuesday night, officials released additional information about the man they want to bring in for questioning, who was identified as 25-year-old Devin Lamar Smith.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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