North Miami Police chief questions cops in caretaker shooting

NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - State investigators questioned the North Miami Police chief about the shooting of a man who had his hands up, and he accused some of his own cops of betraying the badge.

North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene’s testimony depicts him as someone who is very concerned about his department and city government in North Miami.

He spoke with an investigator from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. “I said, ‘City manager, I beg you. It takes only a few minutes, listen to the tape. Listen to the CD,'” Eugene said. “My hand was shaking.”

FDLE was in the process of investigating the July 18 shooting by North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda of an unarmed behavioral therapist who was caring for a man with autism.

Eugene said in his testimony that critical evidence was ignored, like the radio transmission.

“‘You will see. Everybody will ignore you as the chief,'” Eugene said, “and they did. Nobody came to me to tell me anything.”

Eugene discussed how he was ignored when he arrived on scene that day. “I was pissed, to be honest with you,” he said.

He then told investigators that he disagreed with the suspension of Commander Emile Hollant. He was suspended because city officials thought that he misled police by saying that he didn’t witness the shooting.

Hollant was eventually cleared by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

“There’s rampant corruption within the department, as well as the city, and that there are severely under-trained officers at the department,” said Michael Joseph, Hollant’s attorney. “It’s clear at this point that there has to be a shake up.”

Eugene also told investigators that a sergeant got on the radio prior to the shooting and said that the victim may have been holding a toy. “The sergeant got on the air and said, ‘I have a visual. It is a toy,'” he said. “‘Hold fire! Hold fire! It is a toy.’ Now I start to put the pieces together.”

Joseph said his client deserves justice to be served. “The city deserves to do this right away because the people of North Miami deserve better, and my client, who was railroaded by these corrupt individuals and these rogue cops needs justice to be done.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is still investigating this case.

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