Lost grave of Black Miami rookie cop killed 40 years ago finally found, police say


In the morning hours of Sept. 2, 1981, a rookie cop by the name of Nathaniel Broom stopped a Volkswagen Beetle on a Miami street corner with three men inside suspected of taking part in a robbery. The men ran and Broom, 23 and only nine months on the job, gave chase.

As the officer raced up Northwest Second Avenue and then turned the corner onto 11 Street in what the Miami Herald described at the time as a “rundown section of Miami called Overtown,” Robert Patton, 24, was kneeling on the ground, waiting. Holding his gun with both hands, Patton fired at Broom as he came into sight. The bullet struck his heart. He was killed almost immediately.

Broom was buried — and then, somehow, the location of his remains became a mystery to Miami police. Now, 40 years later, a retired detective and her old boss believe Broom’s grave has finally been found.

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