A case involving a crooked Florida police chief, charged with ordering his rank-and-file to make bogus arrests against Black people, is continuing to heat up after another ex-officer admitted he was ordered to falsify arrest warrants, the Miami Herald reports.
Guillermo Ravelo, 37, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Miami federal court that he conspired to violate the rights of two falsely accused men. According to the Herald, one man was charged with a pair of home break-ins in 2013, and the other with five vehicle burglaries the following year.
Ravelo was fired from his job earlier this year. The charges against the two Black men who were falsely accused men were ultimately dismissed.
“Former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano has been accused of encouraging his staff to pin unsolved crimes on random, nearby black people so his 12-person department would have a better arrest record.” https://t.co/T6JxP3GIZf
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 27, 2018
Ravelo also admitted to using excessive force in a 2013 traffic stop, saying he forcefully hit a handcuffed suspect in the face with his fist. Ravelo plead guilty, the report says.
Ravelo is the latest former colleague to point the finger at chief Raimundo Atesiano as head of a widening corruption scandal. Atesiano, who prided himself on having a near perfect record for solving crimes, was charged with abuse of power after an internal investigation revealed that he ordered cops to target and arrest Black people and charge them with unrelated crimes. During 2013 and 2014, 29 of 30 burglary cases were solved in the sleepy Miami suburb of Biscayne Park, Florida, according to the report.
On Friday, Atesiano was charged in a civil-rights conspiracy indictment that stemmed from one of Ravelo’s arrests, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Wallace
Ravelo’s confessions shined the spotlight on Atesiano, who was indicted in June along with two other ex-officers, Raul Fernandez and Charlie Dayoub, who arrested a 16-year-old African-American under false pretenses in order to claim a perfect clearance rate.