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Miami Herald reader asks police chief: ‘What is happening on Miami Beach?’

An interesting e-mail exchange between Miami Herald reader Jeffrey Garcia and Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega:

From: Jeffrey Garcia
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 1:38 PM
To: Noriega, Carlos; Mejia, Dolores; Walker, Patricia; Middaugh, Bob; Gomez, Jorge; Fernandez, Hilda; srothaus@MiamiHerald.com; Aller, Michael
Subject: What Is Happening on Miami Beach?

When I read the Miami Herald's article this morning concerning the arrest of a man on Miami Beach, who was reportedly calling 911 as a witness to a beating, I was was appalled.  Even if we assume there are two sides to every story, some of the facts are disturbing to say the least.  If a man was on the phone with 911 and reporting an attack he witnessed it would impossible for the arresting officers to have witnessed the same man possibly breaking into cars thirty minutes later.  If the State Attorneys Office dropped the charges after looking into the matter, that would lead us to believe that the arresting officer had no legitimate cause for arrest.

Miami Beach has prided itself on being one of the most progressive and open minded cities in the state of Florida and the country.  This type of behavior by law enforcement officers is simply unacceptable.When did the officers superiors become aware of the incident ?  What type investigation resulted from the charges being summarily dropped by the State Attorney's office?  Was the City Manager made aware of the case and pending liabilities to the city of Miami Beach ?  Did the City Manager make the Mayor and Commissioners aware of the incident ?  Why are the officers still on the force ?

These are just some of the questions I have for those in leadership positions at the City of Miami Beach.  I would appreciate a response to this ugly and unfortunate incident which embarrasses all of us here in South Florida.
Thank you,

Jeffrey Garcia

The chief’s response:

Mr. Garcia,

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.  This incident in question, which occurred a little less than one year ago, was brought to our attention for the first time yesterday by the ACLU.  The incident was immediately forwarded to the Internal Affairs Unit for follow up investigation.   The MBPD thoroughly investigates (due process) all complaints made against our officers before we issue discipline in cases that are substantiated.   For the record, City Hall is aware of this complaint,  Also for the record, the MBPD maintains an emphasis on accountability and also has a strong partnership with the gay/lesbian community.  Thank you,



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