Miami chief, mayor deride arrested protesters as ‘outsiders.’ But 30 of 57 are from county

·2 min read

The morning after peaceful protests morphed into violent demonstrations in downtown Miami, local officials told the public that most of the “agitators” where “outsiders.”

“Of the 57 people that were arrested, 13 of those 57 live in the City of Miami. OK? So, we have Minnesota, New York. Georgia. People from outside of the county ... [who] were arrested,” said Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina during a Sunday news conference. “The reason I think that’s significant is: Please don’t make the mistake of letting someone from outside suck you in to destroy our city.”

Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina
Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina

The message was echoed later by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez: “Thirteen of the 57 people arrested came from Miami.”

But according to the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections, 30 of the 57 are from Miami-Dade and 11 others have addresses in Broward or Palm Beach County.

Juan Diasgranados, spokesman for the corrections department, said only seven of the 57 people arrested are known to have addresses from out of state: three from Minnesota, two from New York and one each from Georgia and Michigan. Six others were listed as homeless, and it was unclear where three others were from.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

“It’s important to understand that just because their drivers license says one address, doesn’t mean they live there,” Diasgranados added. “For example: They could have an address registered out of state and be going to school down here.”

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, posted clip of Colina’s comments on Twitter. Rubio has asserted that “domestic violent extremists have infiltrated, hijacked & taken advantage of the protests” around the country.”

The “13 from Miami” referred to by Colina and Suarez referred to those from within the city limits of Miami, a relatively compact area.

Other jurisdictions around the country have made similar claims, that most of those arrested by law officers quelling disturbances were “outsiders” who had come to make trouble. President Donald Trump made similar claims, asserting that agitators from “Antifa,” a loosely organized leftist movement that clashed violently with far right protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, had hijacked the demonstrations, sullying the memory of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose death at the hands of police in that city unleashed demonstrations from coast to coast.

“Sad,” Trump said in a tweet.