As Miami Burns – May 19, 1980

Justice wept.

Justice wept.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Special Report – Miami Riots – May 19, 1980

35 years ago, on May 19, 1980 the city of Miami was entering its third day of racially-charged violence. The cause was, and continues to be, a familiar one. Black businessman Arthur McDuffie was beaten by four White Police officers, after his arrest following a high-speed chase. McDuffie died from his injuries sustained from the beating at the hands of the Officers.

The trial of the four Officers ended with acquittal, handed down by a predominately White Jury on May 17. The verdict sparked outrage within the Black community of Miami, setting off a riot which resulted in 18 deaths, 350 injuries and over 600 arrests. It was the worst rioting since the infamous “Long Hot Summers” of the 1960s.

National Guard troops had been called in to quell the riots, and damage estimates exceeded $100 million.

As of May 19th, the rioting was continuing as attempts to bring calm to the situation were proving fruitless.

The rioting, as well as the cause of the riot quickly became national news, as attention was focused on what many considered an inept Judicial system in Miami, and in fact, spoke to a greater problem within our Judicial system as a whole.

This report, a special program from CBS News, covers the events leading up to the disturbance and what was going on in Miami on the 3rd day of rioting.

Here is that complete report, as hosted by Dan Rather from May 19, 1980.

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