A small suburb of Miami called Biscayne Park previously achieved a nearly perfect rate of “crime-solving” when it came to burglaries, one that the town’s former police chief Raimundo Atesiano viewed as a source of pride. Unfortunately he and his department’s method of achieving these rates were beyond dubious according to the officers who worked under the former police chief. According to them, they were ordered to stop and pick up random Black people and charge them with burglaries they didn’t commit so that the department could classify unsolved burglaries as “solved.” (This is of course a practice that dates back all the way to the days immediately following ‘Emancipation’ as a means of re-enslaving supposedly freed people after the Civil War, as documented in Ava DuVernay’s 13th documentary and Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon.)
According to officer Anthony De La Torre as part of an internal interview in 2014, he was told by his department leaders, “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 burglary. They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.” Three other officers attested to the same thing when questioned by investigators.
As the investigation of his department was being conducted in 2014, Raimundo Atesiano resigned as Chief of Police, and the “100% clearance rate” for burglaries fell down to zero almost overnight, meaning not a single burglary case was classified as solved because no random Black person was arrested and pinned with all the theft that had occurred. In June, 2018, Atesiano and two of his former officers, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, “were charged by federal prosecutors for one specific abuse of power.” That specific abuse in question involved a 16 year old young Black man who was framed for four different burglaries despite the department’s “knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges.” They were not, however, charged in a separate case that dates back to February, 2014 in which a Black man was “arrested and charged with five burglaries in one day” without the department being able to produce a shred of evidence linking the man to the burglaries. All charges were however dropped against the apparently innocent man in question. The reality is that practices such as framing people for crimes based solely on their race are not at all restricted to Biscayne Park, Florida. The Chief of Police there was caught only because he had the gall to state the department’s method of determining a person’s guilt (aka “crime-solving”) so blatantly.