Police Framed Innocent Teen For Burglaries To Make Dept. Look Good

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A Florida police chief wanted his department to look good, so he tied an innocent teen to a series of unsolved burglaries. Now, he’s facing justice.

A police chief in a small village in Florida framed a 16-year-old for a series of unsolved burglaries.

But what started as an operation to make his department look good turned into a scandal. And now, he, along with two former patrol officers, have been indicted and are facing charges of conspiring to violate the teen's civil rights.

The village in question, Biscayne Park, has 3,000 residents, and it’s located near North Miami. In order to tell locals he had a "100 percent" clearance rate for burglaries, Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano had the not-so-brilliant idea of pinning several local burglaries that had not been solved on one innocent kid.

With the help of officers Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, Atesiano chose a boy identified only as “T.D.” and arrested him on June 13, 2013.

According to the FBI, the men then proceeded to “falsely charge him with unsolved burglaries knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges.”

At the time, the three men made up more than one-quarter of the village’s entire police force as the department employed only 11 full-time officers. But instead of actually doing some police work and investigating the unsolved crimes, they decided to frame someone.

The FBI stated that it was Atesiano who also instructed Dayoub and Fernandez to tie the boy to four unsolved burglary cases by including “a false narrative that an investigation revealed that T.D. had committed the four burglaries of unoccupied dwellings” to their arrest affidavits.

"Atesiano, Dayoub, and Fernandez knew there was no evidence and no lawful basis to arrest and charge T.D. with those crimes," the FBI said.

After framing and arresting the kid for crimes he did not commit, Atesiano went to a city council meeting where he announced his department had solved 100 percent of the town’s crimes.

If found guilty of all charges, Atesiano, Dayoub, and Fernandez could face up to 11 years in prison.

Hopefully this case will serve as a reminder to other police departments across the country so officers won’t try to use the unofficial system of quotas or the desire to make their force look better to frame innocent people.

This practice of falsifying information by police isn't new. So knowing that a police chief involved in such a scheme has been caught and is now facing justice is a step in the right direction.

Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Joe Penney

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