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After drawn-out political battle, Miami suspends police chief

Dressed in natty civilian attire and driving alone, Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito marched into City Hall at 8:22 a.m. Tuesday for his scheduled face-off with the city manager. Exactly 13 minutes later, the chief left the building — for now, at least, without a job.

After 17 tumultuous months of fighting the mayor and a commissioner and attempting to quell angry voices from the inner city still seared over a series of police shooting deaths of black men, Exposito was suspended on Monday, paving the way for his removal from the city he’s worked in for 37 years.

“I have taken this action because you have failed to obey my orders and have taken other actions that indicate just and reasonable cause to demonstrate that you cannot properly perform your duties as chief of police,” City Manager Johnny Martinez wrote in his suspension letter to Exposito.

The commission now has five days to meet and determine if Martinez has cause to warrant Exposito’s departure, loosely defined in the city charter as anything from intoxication to insubordination. If they don’t override the manager’s decision — or if the chief does not fight the suspension — Exposito is gone.

The fight, however, is already on: Anticipating his suspension, Exposito requested whistleblower protection from Martinez late last week — the first step in a possible lawsuit

Meantime, Martinez named 31-year veteran Maj. Manual Orosa as acting police chief. More here.