A Miami city commissioner says a video making the rounds on the internet in which Police Chief Miguel Exposito calls his cops "predators" highlights exactly why the community has lost confidence in the Chief.
The Reverend Richard Dunn, commissioner for District 5, says the video, a highly edited, flashy portrayal of a specialized squad of Miami cops who relish in busting bad guys, is troubling to say the least.
"I saw it on YouTube and it's all over the city," says Dunn.
Dunn’s problem is all the bad guys busted in the video, which is a promo for a new reality show, are black and all are taken down in the Afro-American community.
"The only area that you chose ...is to have black people portrayed in handcuffs," said Dunn. "It's a subtle message."
Dunn’s other problem is Chief Exposito. In the video Exposito talks about his officers as being very aggressive. "I want to have something where our guys are proactive going out there like predators,” says the Chief.
To be fair, Exposito’s words are highly edited. It is impossible to place them in context as it apparent that the purpose of the video was to sell a story idea, a series proposal to a broadcast or TV network for syndication.
The production company produced what they thought was a positive look at Miami Police officers.
"We love this City, we were born here," says George Moreno, who heads Beach Films. The production was filmed and wrapped before six controversial shootings occurred in 2010. “I do not want the video to be remembered for getting involved in the middle of the dispute to remove the Chief.”
Dunn says the Chief’s words condone a mindset that courses through the ranks of the Miami Police department. He’s got an agenda item for the upcoming commission meeting. He wants to address the Chief’s decision-making and lack of confidence the community has in his ability to run the department.
Asked if he is going to show the video to his fellow Commissioners Dunn says, “You better believe it," adding, “It will be shown unedited."
All of the recent shooting incidents are being probed by the State Attorney’s Office, but those investigations have been painfully slow and the plodding legal process has been maddening to both foes and supporters of the Chief.
The body count in District 5 has Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Dunn questioning the Chief’s control of his force. This despite the fact that those who went down were armed and most were building impressive rap sheets.
In the wake of one shooting, the Mayor was quoted as saying, "We are taking back the streets.” Apparently, so was the Chief, who is not shy about talking about how black community leaders want the thugs taken off the street.
Toss in the feud between the Mayor and the Chief over the Mayor’s alleged attempted interference with a police gambling raid and you have what amounts to another Miami meltdown.
A letter, signed by Exposito and sent to Regalado, detailed the Chief’s version of Regalado’s attempt to at least postpone a raid on illegal slot machines.
"I sent all the evidence outlined in the letter to the FBI,” said Chief Exposito at a recent packed news conference. Regalado says no law enforcement agency has contacted him.
Dunn’s agenda item is set to come up on Thursday at City Hall.