Officials in Florida charged two Miami-Dade officers after they discovered an alleged assault and cover-up involving the tag team rogue cops. Even though the incident happened nearly a year ago, and no one knows how many other people these cops may have assaulted or how much evidence they may have destroyed, people must understand that these things take time.
First of all, the cops had to sift through an entire minute of video from the March 15, 2018 arrest of 18-year-old Bryan Crespo, after officers burst into his home with maximum firepower to subdue the dangerous crime lord accused of stealing airbags out of Honda Accords, according to WTVJ. As the officers led Crespo out of the house in handcuffs, the Miami Herald reports that Sgt. Manuel Regueiro walked up to the criminal mastermind and slapped him in the face because... well... I’m sure there was a mosquito on Crespo’s cheek or something.
Reguiero, through his lawyer, said he slapped Crespo because the teen was about to spit on him and I, for one, believe the cop. I know the cop was very far away and behind the suspect but people have been known to spit very far in reverse. Plus, I can’t imagine that a police officer would do something like that, unprovoked. I don’t even think there’s a term for when a police brutalizes someone.
When everyone got outside, Crespo told the officers that he had caught them on video slapping him. Thge extended video shows the officers re-entering the house and suddenly the video went black. Crespo’s mother would later say that the wires to the home’s surveillance system had been cut and a neighbor’s surveillance video shows Officer Alex Gonzalez exiting out of the house with a rectangular object that he reportedly believed was the video system.
But it was just the battery.
WPLG reported on the released of the footage of the incident on October 15, 2018, and had already seen it. They even released a statement saying:
The actions depicted in the video are extremely disturbing and in no way represent the core values of our agency. That is why immediately upon learning of the video, we launched a criminal internal investigation into the matter in conjunction with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, which remains active and ongoing at this time.
I know it seems like 4 months is a long time to review video footage to see if a crime took place, but you know how long investigations take. First, they probably had to rewind the video, which could take 2 or three weeks itself. Then they had to watch that 57-second clip to see if Reguiero’s hand actually made contact with Crespo’s face. Then the forensic analysis team probably had to spray the house with luminol to detect the spit splatter trajectory. It’s very complicated.
So 11 months and 12 days later, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced charges against the two officers. Manuel “Slapmaster” Reguiero was charged with misdemeanor battery. He probably doesn’t even know yet because prosecutors sent him a ticket in the mail.
Alex Gonzalez was charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanor petty theft. Lt. Michael Landestoy was also suspended with pay for claiming that nothing was impounded even though there is video footage of Gonzalez taking the battery.
Jennifer Alvarez, who was also on the scene, was relieved of duty on Tuesday She claimed she didn’t see anyone get slapped and that Crespo’s stepfather gave them permission to search the house. Bodycam footage shows the stepdad only giving the cops permission to search a shed on the property.
But justice has prevailed. After cops were caught red-handed assaulting, someone they are supposed to protect and serve, they are now going to face the consequences of their actions as soon as they get their mail. No one will probably go to jail, but at least they know that they only well get away with crimes for a year before they are punished by being paid for not working.
Brian Crespo is still awaiting trial for stealing airbags.