Miami officer in court, tries to get job back after being relieved of duty

MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami Police officer who refused to answer questions about a murder investigation appeared in court Monday to try and get back on the street.

Officer Adrian Rodriguez was working at a Metro PCS store in 2007 where police believe he was involved in a fatal shooting. Police said they received a tip that he and his father were involved in the murder.

Rodriguez was not an officer at the time but did join the police department a year after the shooting.

His attorney, Eugene Gibbons, said his client was fired in 2016 because he refused to answer any questions about the fatal shooting incident. Rodriguez was then re-hired last Tuesday after winning an appeal.

The officer was then relieved of duty on the same day.

Rodriguez is getting paid but doesn’t have his gun or badge and is unable make arrests.

Gibbons said the city is playing games, trying to set Rodriguez up to fire him again.

“The city is playing games here, and the chief of police is defying the law by not reinstating Adrian Rodriguez,” he said.

But Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina said the department is just following protocol.

“We’re not playing any games here, we’re following the law,” said Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina. “Whether they agree with it or they don’t, there is the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which mandated that we follow certain protocols before we put an officer out on the street. There was a lapse of service here, so that means, before he’s allowed to go out, he has to submit to a urine test to make sure that he is free of drugs, and he is refusing to do that.”

But Gibbons said his client did take a drug test.

“If FDLE needs it, we will be more than happy to provide it to them. That’s not the issue,” he said.

Colina indicated the officer nevertheless refused to follow orders.

“Is it possible that he went somewhere else, or that they have their own facility? That’s possible. I know that when we ordered him to submit, he did not submit at that time,” he said.

Gibbons has since filed a motion to ask the court to hold Colina and the City of Miami in contempt for refusing to allow him to fully resume his duties.

“[He has] no ability to use the facilities. He can’t even use their parking lot or visit the station whatsoever,” he said. “That’s not a reinstated Miami Police officer.”

Colina countered that the department has complied with the court order.

“He is being paid right now at a policeman’s salary, where he should be,” he said, “but these are the rules that apply to everyone when you are in a relieved-of-duty status. Whether they’re pleased with it or not, he is in fact under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”

A judge denied Gibbons’ motion to find the city and police chief in contempt. The attorney said he will re-file his request.

“There’s a lot of shenanigans going on here, and we plan on getting to the bottom of it, and we’re not done here,” he said.

“It’s the way we handle anyone,” said Colina. “Not just him, anyone who is under investigation, this is what would happen.”

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