Miami 1980: A Tumultuous Year

  • Two Views on 1980

    Well, it’s kind of weird, I must say, to read a book that I wanted to write at one point. I’m talking about The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees and Cocaine in Miami 1980 by Nicholas Griffin. See my essay on one city, one year, two views at

  • The Awful Sense of Deja Vu

    I’ve started posting at commentaries on what’s been happening in recent days and comparing these events to the 1980 McDuffie case. My latest is almost a rant. The first three paragraphs: “Forty years after a similar police brutality case exploded Miami, we are seeing a highly charged prosecution rushing ahead in Minnesota. “There are…

  • A Hard New Look at the 1980 McDuffie Cop Case

    Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the notorious 1980 McDuffie riots comes a new book to explain what happened – “Verdict on Trial: The Inside Story of the Cops Trial that Ignited Miami’s deadliest riot.” Written by veteran Miami journalist John Dorschner, the book takes a new, hard look at what went wrong…

  • 40 Years Ago This Week

    While boats were racing from Key West to Mariel harbor to pick up Cubans who wanted to leave the island, a former county police officer, Mark Meier, took the witness stand in Tampa to say that motorcyclist Arthur McDuffie yelled, “I give up!” before a bunch of cops started pummeling him with nightsticks and Kel-Lites.…

  • Public Image — 1980 Style

    This photo appeared in the July-August 1980 issue of BOLO, the magazine of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association.  No photo credit given, but apparently taken by a fellow police officer in a devastated section of Liberty City.

Got any book recommendations?