Verdict Delivered in the Case of Tremaine McMillian, Florida Teen Assaulted by Police in Miami

TremaineMcMillianUpdateA verdict was reached yesterday in the case of 14-year old Tremaine McMillian in Miami, Florida. McMillian is the young man who was assaulted by Miami-Dade County Police Officers this past Memorial Day during a family outing at the beach, for allegedly looking at officers with “dehumanizing stares.” The verdict comes as a mixed bag of sorts. On the one hand, it is undoubtedly better than what would have happened had he been convicted as a felon as the initial charges suggested. On the other hand, it is only Tremaine who is being punished, whereas the offending police officers who could not show constraint won’t get as much as a slap on the wrist for their out-of-control behavior.

Tremaine was offered a plea deal, which he accepted, carrying a sentence of 2 years probation under the state Juvenile “Diversion” Program. Under this program he must avoid getting any further charges during the coming two years in addition to attending mandatory classes 2-3 times a week. All of this is done for the stated purpose of “steering [him] away from further involvement in the Criminal Justice System.”  What the court fails to realize, however, is that the very system which it speaks of is a for-profit system that actively seeks out young men, young Black men in particular, to label as “criminals” under the law for the purpose of expanding the booming Prison Industrial Complex.

On the bright side, if Tremaine completes the program and can manage to basically avoid police encounters for the next two years (Lord be with him), his record will be expunged and a sense of normalcy will hopefully be restored to his life. We have no way of knowing just how much your calls to the Judge in this case pleading on his behalf had anything to do with the ultimate lessening of his sentence, but every little bit of concern shown must have had some sort of impact. What is certain is that, had he been convicted of a felony as police undoubtedly hoped, the impact on the future course of his life would have been absolutely detrimental. While we were sincerely hoping for all charges to be immediately dropped, here’s hoping that in the end Tremaine McMillian perseveres and comes out all the more stronger because of this. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

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12 thoughts

    1. I hope that he has been free of police harassment as well (or as free from it as possible considering the state of this country), but I have not found any updates on his situation anywhere on the Internet. Honestly I hope that is a sign that things have not taken a negative turn? There have been commenters on this blog who have made this and that claim but I have no way to verify if they speak from first-hand knowledge or are just bullshitting.

      1. I tried to find him on Facebook. There’s a young man with his name in the military. It’s hard to know unless I message the guy. It would be good if an organization conducted a study of these types of racist situations to observe the impact and then not only find a way to help the person impacted but also help address the core issues in the police departments. The Justice department has been hard at work investigating many police departments and attempting to find solutions. Community policing like Officer Norman is one viable solution I see right now.

  1. It is fortunate for this young man that he will have the opportunity to keep his record clean; however, the two year probation will change him forever. Because he will have to go on the court record to admit his guilt (most of these programs work this way) and then he will spend two years with society treating him as if he is guilty of a crime. Most likely they will add mandatory drug testing to his probationary requirement (in the hopes that he will slip up and breach the agreement).

    There is no worse feeling than being forced to admit you’re wrong when you’re not and being treated like a criminal instead of a citizen (when you’ve committed no criminal act). Tremaine will carry this burden the rest of his life and will never be able to trust law enforcement or the justice system of his country. He will become a prisoner in a country that boasts the greatest public freedoms and denysvthem to a segment of their society every opportunity they get. God help America.

    1. Man you always leave the realest comments straight from the heart. It’s a damn shame how the system is using these “plea bargains” in order to essentially force people into saying they are guilty! It’s like, if ppl don’t take the plea bargain and admit to guilt, they risk the likely possibility of being sentenced to a fate even worse – just like what was done to Marissa Alexander in Florida!

  2. Thank goodness he has a chance at not having this stay on his criminal record. But you’re right that the one punished should have been the cop. I still don’t get how they could have found Tremaine guilty of anything. He didn’t actually do anything!!!

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