JANUARY 16, 2017

Or what about another infamous murder case involving a Miami Police Officer named William Lozano that also led to riots in the city of Miami in 1989?


And then what about the cases in the 1990's where Miami cops were accused of using "throw down" guns in 4 separate cases, that included the shooting death of Richard Brown, "who died when the police fired into his apartment in 1996 in a drug investigation," and another case where "a homeless man was shot while carrying a radio that the police later said was a gun, according to authorities."

Was the evidence in any or all of those cases stored in that shipping container, and was any or all of it destroyed?

These cases have a significance beyond just being murder cases, they also have an important historical significance, and if that evidence has been destroyed then that raises troubling questions that go beyond just gross incompetence.


There's a real problem, and a real effort involving both the Chief of Police and the City Attorney to keep as much information as possible from being made public about just what happened to the destroyed evidence, and more importantly, the identity of those murder victims whose cases were affected by the grossly incompetent, if not outright criminal malfeasance that led to the evidence being destroyed.

On October 20th, shortly after I started writing stories about the destroyed evidence, and after I had had an opportunity to look at the video that the Chief made where he lied about his prior knowledge about the destroyed evidence, I sent him the following email.

In the video below of the Chief's dog and pony show before the Commission last week he glosses over his personal responsibility for the gross incompetence, outright malfeasance and dereliction of duty that led to the problems that I've detailed in over 20 stories since October 10th,  by stating that:

         "There were a number of failures in the police department

         and in the procurement process that led to that."

The failures were a failure of leadership, and those failures falls squarely on the shoulders of  person who should be held responsible: Police Chief Rudy Llanes.

It was with no small irony that also showing up at last week's Commission meeting were a group of ghetto preachers who came to voice their support for both the City Manager and the Chief in the firing of the 3 rookie cops who posted private comments about using the people in Overtown as shooting targets.

To bad they couldn't see the need to condemn the City Manager and the Chief for the destruction of the homicide evidence where some Black people actually get used for target practice, and where the city, for all of it's hypocritical chest beating, continues to allow the conditions that make Overtown the epicenter of drug dealing in the city limits to exist unchecked.

But then again, sanctimonious, hypocritical ghetto preachers who only show up at City Hall when the politicians call on them to be part of some orchestrated show to defect attention from the real nasty shit going down are also part of,

It's Miami, Bitches


It was the first of several emails I sent the Chief, with copies to the Mayor, the City Manager, the City Attorney and the members of the Commission and others that were ignored until December 28th, when I got the following email from Juan Perez, an Assistant City Attorney who obviously pissed off someone to be assigned as the Assistant to Senior Assistant City Attorney George Wysong

Final Container Case Numbers by al_crespo on Scribd

Here is that list of supposed MPD case numbers.

Even if these are the supposed MPD case numbers, they don't work on the Clerk of Court's database when it says enter Citation/Police Number, so they are useless for purposes of trying to learn anything about who the victim or the accused are.  Try it for yourself. CLICK HERE.

All of this is actually immaterial to my request because as my letter stated, I asked for a copy of the list that the Chief claimed in his video that he created and sent to the State Attorney identifying the 564 cases that they originally thought had been affected, plus, I also asked for copies of "ALL the correspondence between you, your staff and the State Attorney, and her staff, including the list of cases impacted by the discovery of these cases that have been compromised."

Like I said, I sent my original letter on October 20th, and this is January 16th, and not a single part of that public records request has been complied with, even though its evident that the above list of internal case numbers is a woefully insufficient record of the information that you would expect the police department to have compiled of the cases affected.


Ignored in all of the back and forth about the destroyed homicide evidence is the contamination and breakdown of the chain of custody that is as the center of the reason for why police departments habe Property Rooms and detailed procedures on how to handle criminal evidence.

On December 2nd, I did a detailed story about just how badly the Miami Police department treated criminal evidence, starting with Rape Kits, and going all the way to the storage of cars in a vehicle storage area that had been broeken into repeatedly, in part because of a failure of having security cameras that worked.

Here are just a few of the photos from that story to refresh your memories.

Miami's Police Chief Rudy Llanes, has a really big set of balls, and the members of the Miami City Commission obviously like to get tea-bagged by those big balls, because at last Thursday Commission meeting the Chief stood in front of the Commissioners and opened his presentation by claiming there, "was an elephant in the room that has to be addressed."  He almost made it sound like he had discovered a secret connection between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.  

What was that elephant? It wasn't a connection between Donald and Vlad, nor was it the identity of the allegedly high-ranking city administrator who had been caught kissing a senior city employee in an elevator at the MRC building - because everybody already knows that, right?

Instead, the real elephant was and is the Chief's management of the police department. But like any adept bureaucrat dealing with a bunch of cowards and morons, his personal job performance was the last thing he wanted to talk about, so his response to the issue of the elephant in the room was to proclaim that, "I think the way you evaluate a police department is on crime rates and outreach to the community."

If only it were that easy.

Now it's true that crime stats and community outreach would certainly be part of any evaluation of a police department, but to limit the evaluation of a police department - especially Miami's police department - to only two performance measures does a disservice to both the department and the city.

Traditional performance measures also include Use of Force and Arrest, the Quality of Emergency Services, Leadership, Organization and Policy to name just a few of the performance measurements that can be found on various police websites when you type in, "Evaluating Police Departments."

It's understandable that the Chief would want to ignore questions of his leadership given the revelations in recent months of just how grossly incompetent his leadership has been, but even so, any evaluation of Miami's police department would have to include problems both in and outside of the department starting with how 11 revolvers disappeared after they were removed from the police property room on a claim that they were 'being taken to the Chief's office.'

An evaluation of the police department would also have to include how hundreds of pieces of homicide evidence managed to be destroyed in a shipping container rotting under an interstate expressway for years, even though emails and photos sent by concerned officers complaining about this destruction of evidence were ignored by senior staff, including the Chief himself, who for most of the 3 critical years during the time there was a complete breakdown in the purchase of new shipping containers had been directly responsible for the Property Room and protection of evidence as the Assistant Chief of Administration.

And when it comes to evaluating a police department on its crime statistics and community outreach, no department could rightfully be evaluated without taking into account how the open and flagrant sale of herion and fentanyl could continue almost unabated in a ghetto less than 10 blocks away from Police Headquarters for as long as it has.

You can bet if heroin and fentanyl were being sold in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the same qualities and manner that they're sold in the Overtown area of District 5, the Police Department would have long ago set up a Command Center in the middle of each of those Districts and put cops on every street corner carrying machine guns, and blocking off streets if that's what it would take to stop the wholesale trafficking of drugs in those parts of the city.

But when it comes to Overtown, anyone can drive up and down NW 1st, 2nd and 3rd Avenue from 8th Street north to around 17th or 18th Street at just about any time of the day or night and if you even pretend to look like a drug addict looking to score, drug sellers will be more than happy to give you signals and flag you over to sell you all the drugs that you can afford to buy.

Think I'm joking. Take the drive and go look for yourselves.

And then of course there are other issues such as fraternizing with unsavory characters such as the ticket scalper Luis Fernandez, who not only had access to the Police Headquarters but who was chauffeured around by Assistant Chief of Police Jorge Gomez, and the "Reverend" Jerome Starling, the accused child molester who received tens of thousands of dollars from the Mayor, City Commissioners and the police department, and who runs a foundation that hasn't filed a tax return in 13 years.

Those were the real elephants in the room last Thursday, yet, not a single Commissioner so much as lifted a finger to point to a single one of them as the Chief blabbered on as if Miami was Mayberry, and he was Sheriff Andy Griffith.


Right off the bat, everyone should know that there continues to be a real problem when the Chief of Police goes out of his way to try and sell the idea that the destruction of the homicide evidence stored in a shipping container under I-95 is no big thing, because in his words, "We do know that there are no defendants in custody awaiting trial with evidence in this container." (3:50 on the video that is at bottom of story.)  While that information might be reassuring to some folks whose loved one was murdered in the city limits and are waiting for justice, it says nothing positive or reassuring for defendants who might be innocent and were wrongly convicted during those years and/or whose cases are under appeal.

The way in which the Chief described the destroyed evidence was pretty much the way a tight rope walker might approach walking across the Grand Canyon on rope made of dental floss.

In addition to defendants sitting in prison whose cases are on appeal and whose freedom might rest on this evidence - and there is no way to know in part because no one knows whose cases have been impacted by this - what about any defendants who have yet to be apprehended?

What about those cases? Was any of the evidence destroyed by the incompetence and negligence of the Chief and the police department part of any of those cases?

These are just among the first questions that leaped out while watching the Chief do a dog and pony show at Thursday's Commission meeting.

And those only deal with the criminal prosecutions. What about civil cases?  Could the City be trying to cover up and hide information that should be made available to the families of all the individuals involved, who then might decide to sue the city for the incompetence of the Chief and his minions?  

Here's another question that leaps out begging to be asked.


As part of his dog and pony show, the Chief said that the homicide evidence stored in the shipping container was for cases that occurred between 1975 and 2011, and that the reason that the evidence had been placed in the container in the early 2000's was "because we have to keep this evidence for 99 years. At that time, the leadership of the department, or that section, decided that this was taking up too much space in our limited evidence room and decided to move it outside."

If homicide evidence has to be kept for 99 years, then where is the evidence being kept for the years prior to 1975 as well as the evidence since 2011?

What about that, Chiefy?

If homicide evidence stored in that shipping container was from cases that occurred between 1975 and 2011, is there a possibility that among those cases would have been the evidence in the infamous McDuffie murder case that led to the McDuffie Riots that became a national disgrace.