Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J. Perez decided to relieve a veteran police officer of duty, and place him on an administrative assignment Thursday.
Miami-Dade Detective Argemis Colome said Sgt. Eduardo Pares, a 16-year veteran who is months away from his 17th year of service with the department, was involved in the death of Anthony "Tony" Antonio Ford Wednesday.
Colleagues said "Eddie" Pares is respected for his work with the Crime Suppression Unit, which proactively identifies suspects of property crimes. The suspects often involve recidivists in problem areas. Pares was assisting other police officers within a perimeter.
"This action is not a determination of wrongdoing by any means," Colome said about Perez's decision to reassign Pares.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating the fatal police shooting, but Colome said the initial findings indicated the veteran detective was forced to shoot at a resistant Ford during a confrontation in an alley.
Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera said Pares fired his weapon because "he was in fear for his life" when Ford didn't follow any of his commands and "turned around and went for his waistband as if he was going for something and the officer instinctively felt his life was in danger."
Colome didn't identify Ford as being armed during the incident. Ford's girlfriend Casey Brooks doesn't deny he was troubled. Records show he was wanted for violating a five-year probationary term after a conviction and a 7-year prison sentence for armed robbery.
"They searched him four times. He had no weapons. They got surveillance cameras at the store. He had no weapons," said Brooks, who was co-parenting two children with Ford.
Police officers said Ford was trying to get away from them after a traffic stop at Northwest 15 Avenue and Northwest 68 Terrace in Miami's Liberty Square neighborhood. About a dozen people, including friends, family and neighbors took to protest Thursday afternoon.
A woman held a up sign: "Who do you call when police murders?" A teenage girl held up a "Black Lives Matter" sign. Two boys and a girl joined the crowd of adults in chanting: "We want justice!"
Ford, 27, was with Rodderick Ford in a red Nissan sedan Wednesday night. Police officers said they both had outstanding warrants. Records show Rodderick Ford, also 27, has a long history of marijuana and cocaine possession.
"As detectives made their way back to the vehicle to place the subjects under arrest, one of the males fled on foot and the other male was immediately apprehended," Colome said. "A perimeter was established."
Anthony Ford, who was on probation and was supposed to be on house arrest, took off running. Leondra Williams said she saw him runaway after police officers had searched him and placed him in handcuffs.
After Pares reported shooting Anthony Ford, City of Miami Fire Rescue took Ford to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where doctors pronounced him dead. Colome said Pares wasn't injured during the incident.
Local 10 News' Christian De La Rosa, Melissa Alonso and Robert Alpizar contributed to this report.