PALMETTO BAY, Fla. (WSVN) – Residents and community leaders in West Perrine are gathering to protest and address major issues after a man in their community was fatally shot during a traffic stop by a Miami-Dade Police officer.
Prior to a community meeting Tuesday, at 7 p.m., some members of that community will be protesting on Indigo Street and walking to the Palmetto Bay Police Station, at 6 p.m., in protest for the man who was killed during that traffic stop, Friday night.
At 7 p.m., Commissioner Dennis C. Moss and area pastors will hold a community meeting in response to recent police-involved shootings in West Perrine. The meeting will take place at Sweet Home Missionary, located at 10701 S.W. 184th St.
“We want the truth to come out,” said the Rev. Theo Johnson with Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church. “This is designed to be an informational meeting for the community as it relates to a tragedy that happened over this past Friday.”
According to Miami-Dade Police, on Friday, two officers were patrolling in the area of West Indigo Street and Homestead Avenue, in West Perrine, at about 6:55 p.m., when they pulled over a vehicle on the 10100 block of West Indigo Street that was driving erratically.
The driver, identified as 21-year-old Jamal Rollins, and a passenger then stepped out of the vehicle, police said, and the passenger fled on foot.
An officer then fatally shot Rollins after he pulled out a gun, police said.
An MDPD representative said the officer had no choice but to open fire. “The driver of the car produced a firearm, and the officer fired at the subject,” Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Carlos Rosario said. “We do have one subject here on the scene who is deceased.”
However, his family disputes these claims and said Rollins had his hands up when he was fatally shot by the officer.
Monique Douglas, Rollins’ cousin, said he stepped out of the car with his hands up. “My cousin jumped out like this, with his hands up. As soon as he jumped out with his hands up,” Douglas said. “Because he shot my cousin like no problem, like he was an animal. He ride dirt bikes. He’s a good child. He don’t harm nobody.”
Days after the 21-year-old was killed, members of the community come together to demand answers. “Our goal is to give out as much information as we possibly can, just to inform our community,” Johnson said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. As they write their official report, local religious leaders are looking to smooth over tensions between the community and the police.
“We just want the truth to be known,” Johnson said.
The officer who discharged his firearm has been put on administrative leave, pending the results of this investigation.
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