Sweetwater Police sergeant suspended for corruption

The Sweetwater Police chief announced the suspension of an officer in the department, Tuesday, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

Miami-Dade Police Public Corruption investigators are conducting a criminal investigation into Sergeant Rafael Castro, Chief Placido Diaz said at a press conference. Diaz announced that Castro will be suspended with pay immediately.

“He is under investigation by another agency for criminal acts,” Diaz said.

Diaz made the announcement just eight days after Sweetwater’s city commission reinstated the sergeant.

John Rivera, the President of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, said, “There was no evidence of any wrongdoing.”

The Miami-Dade Police Union President came to Castro’s defense, who as we found out, has been in trouble before.

Video of a crash involving a police cruiser in February, 2016, shows an officer driving through a red light with lights on. The officer driving the cruiser said he stopped at the red light, but he didn’t, which is against policy.

Castro helped the officer cover it up, the chief said and, as a result, was relieved of duty with pay, then terminated in May.

“He gave an order to another subordinate to generate and falsify a document,” Diaz added.

Miami-Dade Police didn’t release any details about their investigation into Castro, but the mayor and chief placed blame for Castro’s behavior elsewhere. Both said Castro was hired by previous leadership, who, they said, made some poor decisions.

“It will no longer be the police department that picks up everybody’s rejects that have been terminated from other departments,” Mayor Orlando Lopez said.

“He has a pattern of behavior which is clearly one of an officer who is not ethical or moral,” Diaz said.

The Miami-Dade Police Union President also would not release details about the latest investigation into Castro, but he did have something to say about the investigation itself.

“I will tell you I encourage them to investigate this officer, but I hope they don’t stop there,” Rivera said. “I hope they investigate this mayor and this police chief and the shenanigans that they’ve done. Look, this city needs an enema. We need a good cleansing here to get rid of what we got here.”

Rivera said he’s confident Castro will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

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