More than ten months of official silence has led to resentment, conspiracy theories, and threats of lawsuits from the relatives of those shot in the Redland raid.

"The cops violated his civil rights," says Jesse Dean-Kluger, an attorney preparing a lawsuit over Andrew's death. "There was no due process. He had the right to be arrested and go through the system. Instead, they basically went out and shot him." He argues that cops led the gang to expect an armed confrontation with marijuana growers. When snipers dressed in black sprang out of unmarked vans, did they really expect the robbers to drop their weapons?

"They set them up for a bloodbath," he says. "Police have guidelines, and it's not to run up and shoot people. This is not Judge Dredd, and those aren't the rules."

Antonio Andrew celebrates his son A.J.'s first birthday in 1995.
Courtesy of Ladonna Florence
Antonio Andrew celebrates his son A.J.'s first birthday in 1995.
The Redland house where Miami-Dade police ambushed the robbers.
Michael E. Miller
The Redland house where Miami-Dade police ambushed the robbers.

Rosendo Betancourt's family members might also file a lawsuit, although they are waiting for the police report before deciding. They feel betrayed by the police who, they say, pledged to protect the informant. "The police promised, 'Don't worry — he's working with us,' " says Grisel Perez, Betancourt's mother-in-law. "Then he was dead. We don't understand how they could have let this happen to him."

Ladonna says she worries about police retaliation as she goes ahead with her lawsuit. "They are the wrong people to have a problem with," she says.

The mystery over what happened that night in the Redland might be over in a few months, when police release their investigation into the fatal shooting. The lone surviving suspect, Roger Gonzalez Jr., has cooperated with authorities. He signed a plea agreement admitting to at least 11 robberies and was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison on April 13.

But his conviction only rankles the families of those who have no court dates to attend, only tombstones.

"It's not the cops' decision who should be on Earth and who shouldn't," Ladonna says. "Doing crime doesn't give them the right to take somebody's life."

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2 comments
anhonestcitizen
anhonestcitizen

Armed Felones in the process of commiting yet ANOTHER series of Violent Crimes. Shot Dead before they could do so. It doesn't get any better than that....

Sendmovers
Sendmovers

New Times has no business reporting the news to the general public. This company stays in business by selling and promoting ads for prostitutes in the back of their paper (see it for yourself). If you enjoy sticking up for drug dealers and sex traffic operations then this is a good newspaper to read. Just tell me where to get cheap dinners and beers like you specialize in and let the real newspapers handle the "Crime" stories. Thanks,  P.S. I'm reading this article and it says it's published on Thursday, May 24th 2012 but Today is only TUESDAY MAY 22nd 2012. 

 
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