Wednesday, July 18, 2018

When All Else Fails, Arrest The Person Of Color

Raimundo Atesiano, the chief of police chief in Miami Shores, Florida, stands accused of encouraging his officers, Raul Fernandez and Charlie Dayoub, to pin unsolved crimes on random, nearby black people so his department would have a better arrest record.

It all broke when the chief and the two officers were found to have falsely accused a black Haitian-American teenager with burglaries in Miami Shores.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the accusations. But apparently there has been a long history in Atesiano’s police force of targeting random people … random people of color, mind you … so his department could appear to have a spotless crime-solving record. And who cares if you send innocent folks to jail; especially, you know, when they’re brown-skinned folks.

Officer Anthony De La Torre, as part the internal affairs probe, says:
“If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries.”
In addition, four other officers—a third of the tiny, 12-man force—admitted to an outside investigator that they felt pressured to file inaccurate charges, but De La Torre is the only one that mentioned targeting black people.

In 2014, when the investigation began, Atesiano abruptly resigned, which seemed odd, given that during his time as Chief, he had an impressive rate of solving 29 of 30 crimes. The year after his departure, not a single burglary case out of 19 was solved.

But what about that black Haitian-American teenager that was arrested? He was charged with four previously unsolved burglaries though the police reports cited not one single witness, there were no fingerprints, no evidence, no confessions and no retrieval of stolen property.

Naturally, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office dismissed all the charges against the teenager, including previous accusations of fleeing and eluding the scene of a crime and those related to a rape case as he was never formally charged with any crime.

Both Atesiano, and Capt. Lawrence Churchman, who has not been indicted with a crime, have denied pressuring cops to make unwarranted arrests, but many in the department say Churchman regularly used racist and sexist comments:
“The captain has said on several different occasions he doesn’t want any n-----s, f-----s or women bitches working at Biscayne Park.”—Officer Thomas Harrison
Churchman was suspended during the investigation and officially left the department in 2014.
I would say this was America in the Age of _____, but this all happened in 2014, so it's just America. And while this new president-for-now encourages and promotes hate and hate speech, this is a continuation of our country’s long struggle with racism.

How do we stop that?

Speak up. As some of those officers did; speak up when someone says something racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or just plain nasty; tell people that’s unacceptable.

Put the racists back in their dark closets, alongside their sheets.

If you say nothing they think you agree, and they become emboldened.

Don’t do that.


anne marie in philly said...


the dogs' mother said...

Feel for the community.

Helen Lashbrook said...

sadly the racism is over here too; the police are riddled with racists and I should know, I've worked with the,.

Professor Chaos said...

Can this scumbag be charged with false imprisonment? He should never see the outside of a jail again. And everyone he railroaded should sue the department and him personally.