Interview with Mayor Maurice Ferre
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

In 1980 was there any feeling the fact one of those police departments was somewhat responsible for the events that--

MAURICE FERRE:

But, ah, no I don't think so because I, I, I think that, um, that, ah, the same kind of problems, ah, that are, that have occurred and occurred then in Metropolitan Dade County, those were Metro police officers that were accused, ah, had also occurred in the City of Miami. I mean there's a, there's a tradition that goes back to Chief Walter Headley whose famous statement, ah, famous in this community and the State of Florida is when the, when, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. I mean that's the tradition. This was a southern police department, ah, of a southern city which is what Miami was up until the advent, the arrival of the Cubans in 1960. And this community has changed totally. But the mentality of that police department continues, I mean it has life, it has a history. That same mentality exists at Metro and at the City of Miami. And, and I think it's been part of the problem because, because of the process of assimilation. When you assimilate, you assimilate into that mentality. So that the so-called redneck mentality that existed here, ah, that we inherit from our southern traditions, ah, you think that the Cubans who come over are going to be sympathetic to minority causes and minority positions with the Black police officers. Not so. They identified immediately w- with the White police officers and that's who they try to integrate with and emulate. And that's, and the assimilation process takes that in. So all of these problems that have occurred in the police department of Miami, ah, from a, from a sociological or a cultural anthropological point of view deals with that phenomenon.

INTERVIEWER:

OK, I'm going to take a quick check on how much film we have.



MAURICE FERRE:

The meeting with President Carter took place in Liberty City. It was a bland meeting. Carter was on the defensive. It was obvious to me, ah, having known him and seen him in other situations that he was, ah, that he was uptight. Ah, he was obviously at that time concerned with the Mariel problem. He was, ah, the, the Iran, ah, situation was, ah, and the hostages was obviously on his mind, and the election was on his mind. He made a lot of promises, it was, ah, it was not an organized meeting. It, in my opinion nothing was accomplished. If, if anything it exacerbated things because it created false hope. And I think, ah, Carter made promises that, ah, six months later he was out of office and therefore he was not able to keep. And Reagan, was not interested in keeping any of those promises and they have not been kept.

INTERVIEWER:

OK, let's stop down, I think we should probably change the camera roll.