Miami-Dade School Board member’s son accused of shooting cop pleads not guilty

Steve Gallon IV, the son of a prominent Miami-Dade School Board member and civil rights activist, pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer Thursday, then asked the judge for a hearing to determine if he could bond out of jail.

During the arraignment, the handcuffed 32-year-old looked on from the jury box in a red jump suit, as Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Alberto Milian told his attorney he had 30 days to file the motion requesting bond. Attorney Rod Vereen also asked the judge to release his client’s impounded vehicle. Milian said he wanted to make sure it was cleared by police before granting the request.

Gallon IV’s trial was tentatively set for June 30. Gallon IV is the son of Steve Gallon III, who was first elected to the Miami-Dade County School Board in 2016 after defeating incumbent Wilbert Holloway for the District 1 seat in the county’s most northern end. He was reelected in 2020.

Gallon IV was taken into custody on March 10 after coming out of a home in the Allapattah area during a massive manhunt following the shooting of an undercover MIami-Dade police officer. Police said the officer was about to conduct a traffic stop and was involved in some type of drug investigation when he was spotted by the driver, Atiba Moore, 30.

Police believe Moore then contacted Gallon IV and drove away, leading the officer to the home where Gallon IV was staying. When they arrived, police said Gallon IV came up behind the officer and shot him. The bullet only grazed the officer’s neck. He was released from the hospital the next day.

Attorney Vereen said Gallon IV had no way of knowing the man he shot was a police officer, because he was working undercover and had not identified himself. Also arrested and charged with being accessories after the fact for harboring Gallon IV after the shooting were Kendrick Jose Watkins, 33, Frederick Lee Watkins, 27 and Andre Darrell Copeland, 47.

Moore was also arraigned Thursday on a charge of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty. His trial date was also tentatively set for June 30.