Three police officers from the City of Medley Police Department have been fired from their jobs for their involvement in an alleged cover-up of a traffic accident. Last year, a Miami man was driving to work when a traffic accident occurred involving his vehicle and a Medley police car. Soon after the accident, the man was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and cited for failing to yield the right of way. Hialeah police officers arrived to assist the Medley offers and quickly determined that the man arrested was not drunk. The man wrongfully accused of DUI was released and not charged with a criminal offense. Criminal attorneys in Miami that represent the three officers convinced the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office that there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against the three officers.
Miami-Dade prosecutors investigated accusations of public corruption, but in the end did not find enough evidence to charge the cops with criminal charges. The president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association said that the firings were baseless, harsh and unfair. An attorney representing one of the officers claimed, "This is a biased witch-hunt and willful violation of every concept of fairness." It is not clear whether the officer will sue the department to get their jobs back or for economic losses as a result of the firing. The police officers involved in the arrest claimed that the man was never placed under arrest. The Medley police chief backed up the firings by claiming that the treatment of man clearly indicated that the man was placed under arrest when he was handcuffed, read Miranda rights and taken to the Hialeah police station.
The officer involved in the accident and the arrest had been involved in three other traffic crashes within the last 18 months. The officer contacted his supervisor and told him the driver's breath smelled of beer. The driver admitted to having two beers earlier in the day, but denied that he was driving under the influence. The officer performed roadside exercises and claimed that the man did not perform to standard and placed him under arrest. The driver was taken to the Hialeah police department and blew .000 twice. The legal limited in DUI cases in the State of Florida is .08. Once the breath results were obtained and the driver was released with only an infraction.
The officers credibility came into question as a result of the independent investigation conducted by a claims adjuster with United Automobile Insurance. The adjuster reported that the facts provided by the officer did not match the information provided in the police reports and the crime scene photographs. Surveillance videos allegedly contradicted one of the officers claims that the driver was traveling at 60 mph when the accident occurred. The officer's supervisor claimed that a civilian witness observed the crash, a fact that was proven not to be true. A police lieutenant, acting a police chief at the time of the arrest, was accused of approving a report that was replete with lies. All of the officers involved were investigated for committing the crimes of unlawful compensation, official misconduct, and insurance fraud. The criminal investigation was closed because the prosecutor reviewing the case found there was insufficient evidence to criminally charge the officers.
Three Florida Cops Ordered Fired for Traffic Accident Cover-Up, Bradenton Herald.com, October 22, 2012.