Longform

A Dream Deferred

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Moore stands by the actions referred to by Clayborne, actions that in 1996 helped force Det. Don McCawley, a decorated 23-year veteran of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department into early retirement. Moore had been outraged by McCawley's behavior two years earlier at an annual invitation-only law-enforcement retreat in Tennessee known as the Good Ol' Boy Roundup (a retreat more than a dozen Fort Lauderdale police officers have attended over the years). Competing in a "Redneck of the Year" competition, McCawley performed a parody of the Rodney King beating in which he extracted a black baby doll from a watermelon and began beating it with a stick. Moore called for McCawley's firing shortly after details of the skit, as described in a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Roundup, became public.

In a burst of emotions Moore, who has two teenage sons, leaped from his seat at a city commission meeting and demanded that McCawley be fired. "This man wants to shoot my sons," he said, as the rest of the commissioners looked on in stunned silence.

Recalling the incident Moore says he believes his actions sent an important message to the police department. "It's important that they understand that this is no longer a time when things like the Good Ol' Boy Roundup are going to be tolerated," he says. "I think it was a necessary position for me to take whether I was elected or not."

McCawley, now a private investigator in the Fort Lauderdale area, admits his actions at the Roundup were in poor taste but thinks he was treated unfairly, largely as a result of Moore's overreacting. "I don't think I would have been forced out if Carlton Moore hadn't raised such hell about it," he says. "I think the City of Fort Lauderdale allowed Carlton Moore to do things the way he has always done things, intimidating people by using the black community as a pawn. It's a hell of a way to treat a guy who has been with the city for 23 years."

But Moore, who remembers being harassed by white police officers as a young man in Fort Lauderdale, is far less concerned with the career of an individual police officer than with the animosity that has traditionally characterized relations between the police department and the black community. Moore need not worry, because the legacy of a largely uneventful first decade in office will probably have very little effect on his chances of being elected again.

Published:In a feature article entitles "A Dream Deferred" (October 8), staff writer Jay Cheshes wrote that George Myles still owed the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) $15,000 for an educational video he'd been contracted to produce in 1995 but never did. Because of reporter error, that statement was incorrect. According to the BSO's public information office, a video was produced and delivered to the BSO, which claimed that the video did not meet its expectations. The project was thus shelved, and the BSO did not attempt to recover the $15,000 paid. We regret the error.

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Jay Cheshes