While serving an eviction order in defiance of the ban issued by the Centers for Disease Control, Miami police officers shot and killed local resident Stephanie Nicole Voikin on April 6.
On March 16, 2021, Brickell First, LLC filed an eviction suit against Voikin claiming that she was unlawfully on the property. Utilizing public records, Liberation News has been able to determine that Voikin was never served with this suit and likely had no idea that Brickell First, LLC was suing her at all. Yet 21 days later the Miami Police Department sent a heavily armed group of police officers to her SW 12th Street home.
The evidence points to another culpable party — J Milton & Associates, Inc. This is because the property where Voikin lived is managed by Joseph Milton, who works out of an office on Ponce De Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables.
Milton works under J. Milton & Associates, Inc., a real estate company founded in 1968 by José Milton, and headquartered at the same Ponce De Leon Boulevard address. This organization created the José Milton Foundation, which is a regular contributor to several local police departments and federal departments, as can be seen in the image below posted by the foundation’s official Facebook page.
According to sources within the Community Justice Project (a local legal organization dedicated public service), when an eviction case is finalized in court it is submitted to local police departments to remove the tenant from their home. The police departments have ongoing lists of tenants they continue to remove on a daily basis, and landlords have been paying local police departments to move their tenants up higher on this list. The amount paid to the local police varies but is often no less than $1,000.
While there is no confirmation that J. Milton & Associates participated in this practice, the amount of time from when the eviction was filed to when police were sent to remove Voikin may be proof in and of itself.
This all continues to happen despite the Center for Disease Control having entered a legal moratorium halting all evictions on a nationwide level. Specifically, no tenant is to be evicted due to the ongoing pandemic so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, different cities have handled the moratorium in different ways.
Miami has paid no attention to this moratorium, and Party for Socialism and Liberation Miami has documented at least 863 illegal eviction cases that were filed in January. Several of these cases were heard in court and the evictions were granted. What is worse is that these tenants are given little to no notice on the evictions filed against them. In some cases the evictions are granted within days — as was the case in Voikin’s deadly eviction.
PSL Miami has previously documented Brickell First, LLC as one of the landlords who has been filing these illegal evictions in Miami-Dade County, in a large list located here.
For Miami, the moratorium has meant little to the thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes. Voikin is one of thousands who have found themselves targeted by this merciless system.