Feds asked to investigate fatal 1967 Tampa shooting

08/02/07 Mitch E.Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

The Tampa City Council today unanimously approved a resolution asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the death of Martin Chambers.

Chambers was 19 when he was shot in the back and killed by a Tampa Police officer in 1967, leading to days of riots in the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods.

Marzuq Al-Hakim of the National Black Slave Reparations Commission represented the Chambers family in addressing the City Council.

The Chambers shooting was originally ruled justifiable.

In 1990, the Chambers family asked the city of Tampa to reopen the investigation. It was reviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and again ruled a justifiable shooting.

Today's resolution was sponsored by City Councilman Thomas Scott.

Robin McKinney from the city’s legal department referred to federal legislation pending in Congress that could appropriate $100-million to revisit deaths - such as Martin Chambers' – from the Civil Rights era.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has already sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, asking him to have the Justice Department re-open an investigation into the death.

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