The South Miami Police FOP Lodge 179, which includes Officer Jose Lopez (President), Sergeants Richmond James (Treasurer) and Paul Rodriguez (State Trustee) went out of their way during their personal time to make things right.
During a time when South Miami has experienced unprecedented drive by shootings, a police shooting of an unarmed resident along with home and car invasions, members of the F.O.P. learned that perhaps some law enforcement officers had removed and or destroyed a couple of chairs that belonged to a group of South Miami residents who would gather almost daily on the north side of Safari Market aka Joe’s at 6420 SW 62nd Avenue. This gathering spot was the place to be ,and to catch up on what was going on in the neighborhood. Supposedly the chairs were “ removed” to prevent patrons of Joe’s, which includes two employees of the decades old store from sitting outside. Even though there is a “No Loitering” sign on the building, one would hardly consider it as justification for removing and or destroying personal property. The owner of Joe’s did not place a call to police o complain about his patrons and employees gathering next to his store nor were there any arrests for violating the open container ordinance. One of the store’s customers stated that a lawsuit for destroying or illegally seizing personal property is being considered.
Officer Jose Lopez stated, “Today’s police officers already have it hard enough. The South Miami Police FOP Lodge wanted to donate six new chairs to help bridge the gap between the community and the police officers. We also wanted to show that the actions of a few should not reflect on the entire police community.”