Last Wednesday night the City of Hallandale Beach City Commission voted to resolve the litigation involving the city as a result of the 2014 shooting of an African-American Hallandale Beach resident named Howard Bowe by the city Police Dept.'s SWAT unit in a bungled operation that smelled fishy and seemed dodgy from the get-go as far as I and many of my friends in the area were concerned.
But they didn't.
Just the opposite.
To quote myself from a few years ago: For Mayor Cooper, the truth is like water was to the Wicked Witch - something to be avoided at all costs!
That reality in 2014, far from an Old Boys Club-type environment, is an inconvenient fact for some people in the community suddenly trying to thrust themselves onto the scene who've never actually done anything selfless for residents and Small Business owners.
June 21, 2018
The Hallandale Beach City Commission voted unanimously to pay the family of a man who died after being shot by a SWAT team carrying out an early-morning search warrant in his home.
Howard Bowe, 34, died 11 days after the May 8, 2014 fatal raid when officers were serving a search warrant as part of a narcotics investigation but instead killed Bowe and his dog.
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court two years against the city and four police officers involved after the shooting of the father of three, alleging the "military-style raid committed a series of errors resulting in unnecessary confusion and chaos among the officers."
A resolution to pass the $425,000 settlement wasn't mentioned during the Wednesday night City Commission meeting, but the city clerk said it was passed unanimously, 4-0. The city isn't admitting liability by settling, and the officers were already cleared during an internal review.
At my first @MYHBeach City Commission meeting where commissioners will vote on settling a wrongful death lawsuit for $425,000. Read my story here: https://t.co/6Pz29er3rZ— Meryl Kornfield (@MerylKornfield) June 20, 2018
Commissioners went into an executive session w/ the city attorney re: another case HBC Medical Holdings LLC vs. Hallandale Beach CRA. HBC Medical Holdings is suing for breach of contract. Before they left the chambers, commissioners said the private session could last an hour.— Meryl Kornfield (@MerylKornfield) June 20, 2018
Commissioners are back from their executive session (excluded from sunshine laws because it involves litigation). Meeting lasted <30 min.— Meryl Kornfield (@MerylKornfield) June 20, 2018
Brian Stewart, an activist, used public comment to critique commission for "turning a blind eye" on shooting of Howard Bowe. He said "What will it take from someone in this city to stand up and say the name of Howard Bowe Jr."— Meryl Kornfield (@MerylKornfield) June 20, 2018
Last year Stewart showed up a few times at HB City Hall when I was there as usual in the back of the Chambers with my notepad, pen and camera, and as seems to be the case whenever I've seen him, he brought along some acolytes to cheer him on when he spoke.
The facts are that Stewart was someone who at City Hall and at public meetings as well as at informal occasional get-togethers where longtime concerned residents gather -often Panera Bread as a default for lack of enough good choices- was an unknown quantity because he was a no-show.
There's no there there.
Stewart had never actually done anything of note in Hallandale Beach public policy prior to 2017, not least, showing up and asking good hard questions at public places where the public has a chance to evaluate people based on their words an actions and judge who is a work horse and who is a show horse.
These facts made Hallandale Beach unique in Florida among non-Majority Minority cities.
(But none of them are in office or power now.)
Those facts, though, never prevented me from publicly criticizing them to their faces over the years in the Chambers or at contentious civic meetings, whether calling them out for their bad judgment or lack of oversight when it was justified, a fact that many people in Hallandale Beach are well aware of, when others were much less eager to do so.
UPDATE: City Commission unanimously voted (4-0) for the resolution to settle. 3 people signed up to speak during public comment but weren’t called on until after one complained to the city manager. City attorney told me that was a clerical error. Read my story for @SunSentinel: https://t.co/WckRZodGrd— Meryl Kornfield (@MerylKornfield) June 21, 2018
The suit says Howard Bowe, a 34 yo father of 3, was standing in his kitchen, wearing only underwear, & unarmed, when SWAT unlawfully killed his dog Tank, entered w/o knocking, shot Bowe & arrested his son who was asleep. Bowe died 11 days later. City could settle for $425,000. https://t.co/WckRZodGrd— Meryl Kornfield (@MerylKornfield) June 20, 2018
1/ Within 48 hrs of this senseless death, like I had w/other curious incidents in #HallandaleBeach I went around the city asking Q's abt the circumstances of this to usually well-informed ppl who, like me, had long since become very skeptical of anything taking place @ City Hall— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
2/ and had necessarily suffered the consequences 4 our critical Q's at public mtgs and demands 4 increased accountability & transparency by #HallandaleBeach elected officials & bureaucrats. Almost everyone said the same thing. The city needed to get out in front of this rather— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
3/ than letting it fester. Typically, Mayor #JoyCooper, the CityComm. & CityMgr were not savvy enough to appreciate the need for this, and worse, seemed to know less abt the facts than just abt anyone I spoke to. This was exacerbated by failure of #SoFL media to timely report it.— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
4/ There were 3 chalkboards placed by #HallandaleBeach on S side of Foster Road, across fm Foster Park, w/nothing but messages -warnings!- abt this police shooting, which seemed pretty sketchy from the get-go.— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
So much so that ppl out-of-town were doing what #SoFL reporters were
5/ not doing -actually investigating & reporting!— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
Nine days BEFORE this finally appeared @SunSentinel, https://t.co/OpQwXHiEtV, @radleybalko of @washingtonpost had written this very detailed account of the shooting/larger issues: https://t.co/ElRxpSlhHn
I sent out an email w/it
6/ and some insight abt it to 130 #HallandaleBeach/#Broward residents, activists & electeds on 5/28/14, noting inconvenient facts I'd shared w/them previously in emails & my blog, #HallandaleBeachBlog, w/prior examples of CityHall's shameful/inexcusable delays & tone deafness in— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
7/ getting vital info out to a public that wants facts and not have to be reliant on rumors by unobj. ppl w/issues. I cited the 2013 double-murder of part-time #HallandaleBeach residents fm #Toronto, a case that's still not solved:https://t.co/VHBro9PaXd,https://t.co/4L7Fwz9Vps— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
8/ By the time Mr. Bowe was killed, the fact pattern of the City of #HallandaleBeach and its Police Dept. was clear. They wld NOT do either the smartest thing or even the most basic things to get info out that a reasonable person wld expect in the aftermath of such incidents.— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
9/ Instead of showing initiative and taking a leadership position, Mayor Cooper & the city & its PD cld NOT bother to do the sorts of things that ppl see done ROUTINELY in other U.S. cities & towns when this kind of incident happens in real-life -or even in TV shows or movies. 🤯— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
10/ Instead of being honest and understanding of why some parts of HB community were outraged, Mayor Cooper, the city & the PD double-downed on a strategy that consisted of 50% bunker mentality and 50% stalling -the worst of all possible combinations.— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 23, 2018
So how'd that turn out?🙄🤨
Meet Howard Bowe and Detective Charles Dinwiddie, your latest casualties in the war on drugs. http://t.co/0PbhyToqlE— The Watch (@WPTheWatch) May 12, 2014
#HallandaleBeach resolves litigation re 2014 shooting of Howard Bowe by city's SWAT team, but facts that didn't add up in 2014, STILL don't in 2018. 🤨— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) June 25, 2018
Beware of #SJWs suddenly claiming to be civic activists when they were MIA when it really mattered. 🤔https://t.co/YZhwMeJZNZ pic.twitter.com/1Cvx0AlE4b