It’s being called one of the “worst incidents of delinquency in the department’s history,” according to CBS News. The incident involves a Miami-Dade police sergeant, and five officers. Three of which, including the sergeant, have already been fired and three have been suspended without pay. At issue: avoiding calls, failing to respond, and falsifying records.
One officer ignored calls for a robbery in progress. Another said he was busy when a child was locked in a car. While the particular violations vary from officer to officers, none of them are good and all indicate that these people may have been better off with another career choice.
CBS reports that officer Dario Socarras is accused of meeting his girlfriend in a mall parking lot, choosing to ignore calls of a residential burglary and an armed robbery. He was caught on surveillance video twice kissing and cuddling while his fellow officers were responding to the emergency situations.
That same officer is accused of telling a victim that he would fill out a report, giving her a phony case number but telling police dispatchers that no crime occurred at all.
Sgt. Jennifer Gonzales was accused of shopping while on duty and spending hours at her parents’ house when she was on the clock. Another officer, Jose Huerta, is said to have repeated claimed that he was tied up on other calls to avoid responding to situations, when in fact he was not busy at all.
Socarras, Gonzales, and Huerta have all been fired.
The internal investigation against the three revealed a total of 134 departmental violations.
All three were involved in the final straw of violations, where Socarras was called to an emergency where an infant was unconscious and in need of medical assistance. He told dispatch that he was “en route” multiple times while in fact he was out for coffee with Sgt. Gonzales and Ofc. Huerta.
The other three officers are on suspension without pay for terms of 5 to 20 days. Each was accused of similar violations.
When we call the police in an emergency, we want them to show up quickly. When they don’t respond quickly, we might chalk it up to traffic or even a lackadaisical attitude, but rarely would we surmise they were shopping or out drinking coffee instead.
However, if you break the law, you can bet they will be there in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, it seems these officers at least would rather just catch “bad guys” than help the public at large—a growing and troubling trend among law enforcement.
If you are arrested and charged with a crime in the state of Florida, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and the legal options available to you.