It’s a tradition this time of year: as we look ahead to the year that is beginning, we take a look back at the year that is ending. And when it comes to Carmel on the Case, 2014 was a busy one.
It was a 7News exclusive. We documented case after case of human trafficking arrests by the Fort Lauderdale police department.
Devaun Canion: “Can I call my momma?”
Carmel Cafiero: “Call your momma?”
Devaun Canion “Yea.”
Carmel Cafiero: “What kind of man does that? Looking for his momma after he’s out here being arrested for doing this?”
This pretty 16-year-old became a victim of human trafficking at the age of 14.
Victim: “It made me feel nasty and dirty.”
She says she was forced into prostitution by a woman and all she got was a room to stay in — the same hotel room used to turn tricks.
Carmel Cafiero: “And how many men would you be with in a day on average?”
Victim: “Like 10, 15.”
Carmel Cafiero: “A day?”
Victim: “Yeah, a day.”
She is one of an estimated 23 million victims worldwide.
In another 7News exclusive, we exposed an escort service busted as a front for prostitution.
Douglas Juiffre: “No, we just charge for time and companionship.”
Carmel Cafiero: “Do you think men really pay for time and companionship?”
Douglas Juiffre: “I don’t want to answer any more questions, ok.”
In this case, an undercover Fort Lauderdale officer built the case by getting a job as a driver for the escort service.
Capt. Robert Dietrich: “As far as I know – that I’m aware of – nothing like this has been done, at least within our area.”
But questionable police police behavior was also an issue for South Florida.
Carmel Cafiero: “Don’t you have any comment about disgracing your badge?”
A Miami-Dade officer was caught on camera using gas pumps designed for police use only to repeatedly fill up her personal cars.
In Hollywood, 7News first revealed 94 rape kits had never been tested by previous administrations.
Carmel Cafiero: “How long have some of these rape kits been sitting?”
Frank Fernandez: “As far back as we can tell? All the way back to 2005.”
Since then, kits have been tested and arrests for rape have been made. The department is also facing a federal lawsuit by a resident who claims he was falsely arrested when he tried to file a complaint against an officer.
Rob Pinto: “One sergeant said ‘Let’s teach this guy a lesson.'”
7News was the first to show how police body cameras work as the the Hallandale Police Department tested them. Now after the Ferguson fallout, there’s a push to equip officers nationwide.
Another camera, this one personal, led to the resignation of a miami-dade schools police officer.
Carmel Cafiero: “We’ve been given a video of you apparently pleasuring yourself in your office here at the school.”
Chief Ian Moffett: “I was appalled. I was appalled. That does not reflect the culture of our organization and the school district and what we stand for.”
We covered big money being spent for pavers at Miami-Dade trash sites, found roaches on public buses and showed how investors lost millions in a deal that promised big returns from kiosk sales but did not deliver.
We also warned of a criminal casanova who was just out of prison and reportedly romancing and taking advantage of women.
Nana Iosava: “Right now I am minus over $210,000 including everything.”
Carmel Cafiero: “That’s all looking back. Looking forward, 2015 no doubt will hold similar challenges. And you can expect us to be there asking questions and getting answers.”
Carmel Cafiero, 7News.
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