“When Liberty Burns,” a film about the 1980 McDuffie riots, screens tomorrow (includes video story)

It’s been over 40 years since the death of Arthur Lee McDuffie in Miami,and now a weekend event is bringing his story to a new generation of South Floridians.

McDuffie was a Black insurance salesman who borrowed his cousin’s motorcycle on Dec. 21 1979 and allegedly ran a red light, then led police on an eight-minute chase. He was beaten to death by four police officers after a traffic stop.

Haitian-American Miami director Dudley Alexis created the 2020 documentary “When Liberty Burns,” in which he interviewed those who lived through the intense 1980 riots that followed the officers’ acquittal at trial.

The film will be screened this Saturday and Sunday at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, located at 819 NW Second Ave. For more information visit calendar.fiu.edu and click on “When Liberty Burns” Film Screening, Symposium and Community Access Event.  

Racquel Lewis is a Miami native who enjoys botany, comedy, theatre, and culinary arts. She is currently an assistant editor at Caplin News while also attending Florida International University as a Broadcast Media major. Her goals are to have her own show and to get an Emmy.