Former Florida police chief Raimundo Atesiano faces 11 years in prison for allegedly instructing cops in 2014 to arrest “anybody black” for unrelated crimes to achieve perfect crime stats.
“’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,’ ” Officer Anthony De La Torre said. “They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.”
“I will not arrest an innocent person to make the department look good,” Martinez wrote in a statement to the village manager.
In total four cops allege they were told to file false charges and of the four, De La Torre claims he was specifically ordered to arrest black people. The village manager ordered the probe after receiving numerous letters from cops about the department’s activities.
“The letters said police were doing a lot of bad things,” Heidi Shafran told the Herald. “It said police officers were directed to pick up people of color and blame the crimes on them.”
Atesiano resigned after the 2014 probe, and has since been charged by federal prosecutors with civil rights violations. The indictment alleges he and Raul Fernandez and Charlie Dayoub conspired to falsely arrest a 16 year old black male known as “T.D.” for unsolved burglaries.
“Atesiano directed Dayoub and Fernandez to arrest T.D. on June 13, 2013, and falsely charge him with unsolved burglaries knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges,” the Department of Justice revealed in a news release. “The indictment further alleges that following Atesiano’s instruction, Dayoub and Fernandez gathered information for four unsolved burglary cases, completed four arrest affidavits for the burglaries, and included a false narrative that an investigation revealed that T.D. had committed the four burglaries of unoccupied dwellings.”
All charges have been dropped against the then unidentified 16 year old, who is now 21. A trial for Atesiano has been set for July 23.