A former Miami-Dade police officer was sentenced to spend two and a half years in a federal prison for making inappropriate stops of female drivers. During one stop, the ex-cop reportedly detained a 19-year-old woman and asked her to unzip the front of her dress while she sat in the back of the police vehicle. Another woman filed a complaint when the man pulled her over for drunk driving, asked to see the scar from her breast augmentation surgery, and followed her home.
The officer was convicted of six misdemeanor counts of depriving the women of their civil rights. Seven women filed complaints for incidents that took place in May and June of 2011, but the man was not convicted of a one count that involved a female coworker and no longer works at the police department. An Assistant U.S. Attorney described the former officer's behavior as abusive.
"He abused these women; he took advantage of them…Our victims were so traumatized that one of them could not come to court because she was physically ill." The suspect's defense attorney said that he felt sorry for his client, and noted that psychological evaluations indicated that he could only read at the level of an average fourth-grade child. According to the Police Director, the cop's behavior might affect the public's perception of Miami law enforcement.
"The officer's actions have tarnished the badges of all sworn to uphold the law," the Police Director said, "We support this conviction and remain resolute in policing our own." The Miami-Dade judge claimed that the man's limited intellectual ability should have kept the police department from allowing him to work as an officer, describing the scenario as scary. Even still, he stated that the man's conduct "tears at the very fiber…of our community."