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Robert Parker (Courtesy Photo Miami Dade Police Dept.)

Robert Parker (Courtesy Photo Miami Dade Police Dept.)

MIAMI (AP) _ The Miami-Dade Police Department announced the death of its former director Robert Parker. He was 62. Parker, was the first African American to lead the Miami-Dade Police Department,

Parker was found dead at his home in northwest Miami-Dade County on Wednesday night. His death, ruled a suicide by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner on Thursday, shocked friends and former colleagues, accoring to the Miami Herald.

Parker joined the force in 1976. He worked his way through the ranks, becoming the first African-American in the agency’s top job in 2004.

Along the way he served as assistant director of police services and spent time in the Special Investigations Unit. He also was a major and commander in charge of economic crimes.

The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/1MKbQFe ) reports Parker once said his toughest days as an officer were during the 1980 race riots sparked by the beating death of a black motorcyclist.


Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com


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