A 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.
For Further Reading:
- Tremaine McMillian, Teen in “Dehumanizing Stares” Incident, Will Have All Charges Dropped
- Miami-Dade Police Choke Black Teenager Because He Was Giving Them “Dehumanizing Stares”
- Teen accused of fighting with police enters plea
- Tremaine McMillian Becomes the Latest Victim of Racist Florida Juvenile “Justice” System at the Young Age of 14 (Memorial Day)