Curt Anderson, CBS News, May 15, 2015
A handful of Miami Beach police officers sent hundreds of racially offensive and pornographic emails, including about President Barack Obama, and possibly jeopardized dozens of criminal cases in which they are witnesses, the department’s chief said.
An internal investigation revealed that two of the 16 officers were high-ranking within the Miami Beach Police Department and were the main instigators, Chief Daniel Oates told reporters Thursday. One has retired, and the other was fired Thursday.
Oates identified them as Former Major Angel Vazquez and Former Captain Alex Carulo, CBS Miami reports.
“They were the primary purveyors of pornography and high volume of it. I was shocked and angry,” Oates told the assembled press.
Vazquez has since retired, but could face a potential criminal charge for his alleged role in circulating an autopsy photograph of Raymond Herisse who was shot by police in 2011 during Memorial Day, Oates said.
Oates said the probe revealed about 230 emails demeaning to African-Americans and women or pornographic in nature. Many were depictions of crude racial jokes involving Obama or black celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods. One shows a woman with a black eye and the caption, “Domestic violence. Because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once.”
One of the racially offensive emails depicted a board game called “Black Monopoly” in which every square says “go to jail.”
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said about 540 cases in which the officers were witnesses are being reviewed to determine if they are tainted racially. Some charges could be dropped as a result, or prisoners could be freed from jail.