Yet Another Outrageous Cop Killing

By John Dorschner

Almost 40 years after Arthur McDuffie was killed by Miami-Dade police after leading them on a wild chase, a disturbingly similar case has popped again, this time in suburban Hialeah.

The latest case involves a 10-minute late-night chase that stopped when Lester Machado crashed. Even though his car was smashed and airbags deployed, cops put more than 100 rounds into the car. Veteran police chiefs understand what happens in this kind of situation: The cops get worked up, enraged, and they take it out on the source of their anger.

In this case, one of the Hialeah cops has said publicly that her colleagues fabricated a scenario to justify the shooting. No matter: Prosecutors refused to press charges.

In 1980 McDuffie, a Black motorcyclist, evaded cops for eight minutes. The cops were enraged. Shortly after McDuffie stopped, his head was smashed so severely that the medical examiner said it was like he had been dropped from a five-story building. Six officers were charged with his murder or covering up his case. All ended up not guilty.

I wrote about McDuffie’s case in Verdict on Trial, available on Amazon. The case is now mostly remembered because the acquittals led to riots that killed 18 and did $100 million in property damage.

In the Machado case, few knew about it when it happened in 2017, and only now, with a federal lawsuit, has the case come light. David Ovalle has a riveting story in the Miami Herald that is well worth reading:

More about McDuffie on my website:

A Miami journalist for a half-century dedicated to peace, equality and environmental protection. Author of Verdict on Trial, available on Amazon.