On January 27, 2021, Kevin Desir, a 43-year-old black man, died in the custody of the Broward County (Florida) Sheriffs Department – a week after an “altercation” with jail staff had left him in a vegetative state with irreversible brain injury.
Desir had been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana despite the fact that he holds a legal medical marijuana card issued by the state of Florida.
He is survived by a loving family including two young daughters. His brother Mikco said Kevin had “dealt with mental illness for 21-22 years, but he didn’t let that define him. He worked full time. He was an entrepreneur.”
Desir’s family has asked Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to release the a video of the incident that resulted in Desir’s death. Tony has so far refused, claiming the video is confidential and exempt under Florida law.
We talk with Life Malcolm, longtime Tampa community organizer and legal assistant with the Tampa Asilia Law Firm that is representing Desir’s family.
We discuss the legacy of police violence against the African community across the state of Florida, the call for “Black Community Control of the Police” and Desir’s family’s efforts to obtain video recordings of the actions taken by Broward Sheriffs deputies that resulted in Desir’s death.
The People’s War radio show is produced by WBPU 96.3 FM “Black Power 96” in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is hosted by Dr. Matsemela Odom and Muambi Tangu, bringing an African Internationalist perspective to the important issues of our world.