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Former police chief in Florida pleads guilty to framing men in racially tinged cases

Posted on Saturday, 15th September 2018 @ 02:35 PM by Text Size A | A | A

Five years ago, Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano bragged to the town’s leaders about his department’s exceptional 100 percent clearance rate on burglaries in the tree-lined suburb north of Miami.

On Friday, however, Atesiano admitted his own criminal behavior was behind the boast to the village commission: He acknowledged at his plea hearing in Miami federal court that he directed three of his police officers to pin a series of unsolved home and vehicle break-ins on three innocent men to perfect the force’s property crimes record.

Atesiano, 52, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge of depriving the three suspects of their civil rights because he and the officers framed them. Although race was not a factor in the federal case against the former police chief, the three wrongly arrested men are black.

Atesiano’s conspiracy conviction carries up to 10 years in prison, though the ex-chief is expected to get far less time. Two other rights violations carrying up to one year each will be dismissed.

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A former police chief and several officers have been indicted for falsely charging a black teenager with four burglaries just to show village leaders that they are good at “solving” crimes. While the indictment reads like a Hollywood movie script about bad cops, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in a deep cesspool of corruption that is the Biscayne Park Police Department.

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