Probe Says Cops Targeted Black Floridians to Improve Record
The case involved not only the police officers of the Biscayne Park police department but their police chief as well. In order to impress leaders with a perfect crime-solving record, the department decided to pin four burglaries on a black teenager. When their dastardly plan was discovered, it revealed a policy of pinning crimes on blacks in the place of actual police work. On the one hand, it’s efficient. On the other hand, it’s illegal, unethical, and makes a mockery of the justice system.
It also vindicates Black Lives Matter protesters and those who believe that the justice system unfairly targets African Americans. In this case, they were literally being targeted by an inept police force to close cases. In the process, they destroyed people’s lives. Now, the case will go before a federal judge and jury.
The Case against Raimundo Atesiano
Raimundo Atesiano is the police chief being charged with targeting random black people to clear cases. A probe discovered that senior staff in the department pressured officers to frame innocent people in order to improve their statistics.
Atessiano became chief in 2012 but resigned amid the very accusations that would turn into a federal probe and then criminal charges. Anthony De La Torre came forward amid the probe to produce the most damning evidence against Atessiano, but the ship was sinking earlier. Several cops, to their credit, spoke to Biscayne Park city manager, Heidi Shafron. The letters indicate that the police officers, under the direction of Atessiano, were ordered to pick up black people on the street and blame them for crimes.
Atesiano has denied any wrongdoing and is now being charged in federal court for civil rights violations. Two of his officers will stand trial as well.
While it’s unclear if each and every one of the individuals convicted of crimes under Atesiano was black, it appears that a large percentage of them were. All of these cases will need to be reviews and most of the convictions will be tossed out on appeal. If they did, in fact, arrest the right person for the right crime, it would have only been by accident. None of their police work can be trusted and all of the evidence they gathered against criminal defendants will have to be tossed. Convictions going as far back as Atesiano’s work as Sergeant will be looked at as well.
Atesiano Points Fingers at Underlings
Atesiano claims that he never ordered his officers to make false claims against blacks. He also says that any bad arrests are the result of the poor efforts of his own policemen. He claims he set a high standard for closing cases and expected excellent results from his officers. If they took that standard to mean “close cases at all costs” then they misinterpreted his intent.
However, the arrest and prosecution of a young Haitian teenager stands at the crux of the federal authorities’ prosecution of Atesiano.
Accused of Crime?
Just because you’re accused of a crime, doesn’t mean you’re guilty. The criminal defense lawyers at Scott Skier P.A. have managed high profile murder trials and routine DWIs. If you have been accused of a crime, give us a call at (561) 820-1508 or contact us online, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.