“The police chief of Biscayne Park essentially wanted to have good stats with 100 percent solve rates on thefts and burglaries, so he ordered his police officers to go after people — from my understanding, black people — with criminal records,” said Cam Cornish, an attorney for one of the three framed men, Erasmus Banmah. “Basically, this was a case of people in positions of power picking on the marginalized society.
”While race was not a factor in the federal criminal case, a Village of Biscayne Park Police Department internal affairs investigation obtained by The Washington Post suggests the command staff may have instructed officers to specifically target black people.
At least four officers said during the 2014 internal investigation that Atesiano and another police captain ordered them to arrest anybody on the street with a record — while one of those officers, , specified he was told to look for black people.
“Officer De La Torre stated the Captain has told him multiple times to pin cases pending on anyone black walking through the streets at night,” the internal affairs report states. “He stated the Chief told him the same thing and the Corporal also relayed the message. He stated, for instance, 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. He stated they were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.
”Richard Docobo, Atesiano’s defense attorney, strongly denied that race played a factor in any of the arrests.“There is no credible evidence that any of the officers at Biscayne Park arrested anyone because of their race or ethnicity,” he told The Post. “The suggestion from anyone that that was the case is false.”
Source: – The Washington Post