A former police chief and two officers of a tiny Miami-area town are facing federal charges after prosecutors say the law enforcement officials conspired to frame a teenager for four burglaries.
Whenever stories of police corruption surface, they are immediately countered with the trite “bad apple” aphorism. While it is a provable fact that one bad apple will eventually spoil the whole bunch, no one ever considers that maybe all apples are bad.
A bad apple put Snow White in a coma. In the late ’90s, I was stalked by an angry elementary school teacher, and an apple a day did not keep her away. I don’t know if it’s the same thing, but ever since Steve Jobs died, I have considered all apples to be bad. Just to be safe, I don’t fuck with apples ...
For instance, Raimundo Atesiano was the chief of the police force in tiny Biscayne Park, Fla., a tiny suburb of around 3,000 in Miami-Dade County, Fla. In 2013, every crime in the small village had been solved except for four burglaries that prevented Atesiano from having a miraculously unheard-of 100 percent crime-clearance rate.
In July 2013, Atesiano was scheduled to go in front of the village council at the end of the fiscal year to give a report on the Biscayne Park Police Department’s crime-fighting efforts, the Miami Herald reports. So, in order to solve his clearance-rate problem, the diligent police chief assembled a task force to work day and night to figure out this unsolved mystery and ...
I’m just kidding. They just picked a kid and framed him for the felonies.
According to federal prosecutors, Atesiano and two other officers, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, collected evidence from the break-in of unoccupied homes and wrote police reports that pointed toward a 16-year-old juvenile, identified only as T.D. in court documents.
Just before the big meeting, the officers arrested the teen “knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges,” the unsealed indictment reads. All three men are charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law, a federal statute.
Unsurprisingly, this is nothing new for this tiny town.
In 2014, Atesiano resigned after investigators discovered that he’d borrowed a large sum of money from a subordinate and repaid the loan by allowing the person to collect overtime and bonus pay, essentially making taxpayers subsidize his loan.
In November 2017, the public discovered that one of the 11 police officers working in Biscayne Park was a cop who had been rejected from 10 other police departments, failed polygraph and psychological tests, and was the subject of a police-brutality lawsuit when he was hired.
In April 2018, another one of the—allow me to say this again—only 11 officers working in Biscayne Park was cited in two different instances for use of excessive force. Officer Guillermo Ravelo was charged with striking a man with his fist during a traffic stop and hitting another citizen with a blunt object.
While it is impossible to say that there are definitely no good cops, it might be safer for the public if we consider all cops to be bad apples. I’m not saying we should cut them all open or check for brown spots, but I think we should at least consider switching over to oranges for a while.
If convicted, the three officers face up to 11 years in prison.
The 16-year-old T.D. was arrested and would have been charged as an adult for second-degree burglary, a charge that carries a penalty of 15 years in prison.
On July 9, 2013, Chief Raimundo Atesiano told the village council of Biscayne Park that the town had a perfect clearance rate for the year.
Blue lies matter.