Federal Prosecutors Accuse South Florida Police Officers of Framing 16-Year-Old
On June 13th, 2018, National Public Radio (NPR) published a shocking story that came out of the South Florida town of Biscayne Park. With just over 3,000 people, it is not often that the this small Miami-Dade County community makes national headlines. Unfortunately, the headlines in this case are not good.
According to federal prosecutors, a Biscayne Park police chief along with two other low-ranking officers intentionally framed a 16-year-old boy for four break-in robberies that occurred in the community within the last several years. In this article, our Miami criminal defense attorneys explain the allegations against the law enforcement officers in this highly disturbing story.
Federal Officials: Florida Police Officers Wanted to Keep their So-Called ‘Perfect’ Record
The alleged misconduct in this case is truly horrifying. Federal officials report that three Biscayne Park police officers knowingly created false reports and presented false evidence for the sole purpose of maintaining their department’s wholly fictitious 100 percent clearance rate on burglaries. It appears that their goal was to clear four outstanding burglaries that occurred at homes in the town. They arrested a 16-year-old boy and charged him with the crimes.
Based on the investigation reported on by NPR, it appears that there is no legitimate evidence that proves that the unidentified teenager who was arrested and charged with the burglary of four unoccupied Biscayne Park homes was actually connected to these crimes. The three police officers have been charged with violating the civil rights of the boy. If convicted of the offenses, all three face up to a maximum of eleven years in prison. This is not the first scandal for this police department. In recent years, the Biscayne Park police have also been accused of misusing taxpayer funds.
Policing Metrics Can Create Adverse Incentives
We all want crimes to be solved. If a community is having a problem with burglaries, break-ins, or any other type of criminal activity, a solution is needed. However, using certain metrics, such percentage of crimes ‘solved’, to judge the police creates terrible incentives. If law enforcement officers are incentivized to charge someone for every crime, they will inevitably be pushed towards arresting some people who are innocent of the charges.
It is imperative that our law enforcement officers respect the rights of all members of our communities — including criminal defendants. Nothing is improved by arresting people for crimes that they did not commit. An innocent person is punished, and the preparator is able to escape justice. Taken in a vacuum, a police department’s clearance rate can be a misleading statistic.
Get Help From a Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
At Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC, we provide aggressive, skilled legal representation to defendants in Miami and throughout the surrounding communities. Everyone deserves a strong legal defense. To find out more about how our Miami criminal defense lawyers can help you, please contact our legal team today at 305-600-3519 to set up a free initial consultation.