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Former Florida cop admits to framing two black men amid false arrest scandal at the direction of police chief

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Former Florida police officer admits to framing two black men amid false arrest scandal
Guillermo Ravelo, pled guilty Thursday in Miami federal court on charges of conspiracy to deprive a person of his civil rights and deprivation of civil rights under color of law
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail
Guillermo Ravelo admitted that he violated the rights of the falsely accused men — one charged with a pair of home break-ins in 2013, the other with five vehicle burglaries the following year
The charges against the two men, both black, were eventually dropped
The former cop also pled guilty to using excessive force during a Biscayne Park traffic stop in 2013 when he struck a handcuffed suspect in the face with his fist.
Ravelo was dismissed from the Biscayne Park Police Department earlier in 2018, but his admission put spotlight on former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano,
Atesiano has been accused of ordering his staff to frame innocent black men in a bid to boost the 12-person department’s arrest record

A fired Florida police officer has admitted to pinning unsolved crimes on two innocent black men at the direction of his boss.

Guillermo Ravelo, who was booted from the Biscayne Park Police Department earlier this year, pled guilty Thursday in Miami federal court on charges of conspiracy to deprive a person of his civil rights and deprivation of civil rights under color of law.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars.

His admission has again put the spotlight on Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano, who has been accused of ordering his staff to frame innocent black men in a bid to boost the 12-person department’s arrest record.
Guillermo Ravelo, admittedly Thursday in Miami federal court to a conspiracy charge that he violated the rights of the falsely accused men.
One man was charged with a pair of home break-ins in 2013, the other with five vehicle burglaries the following year.
The false charges against the two men, both black, were eventually dropped.
Ravelo, 37, also pled guilty to using excessive force during a Biscayne Park traffic stop in 2013 when he struck a handcuffed suspect in the face with his fist.
Atesiano, 52, was indicted in June along with two other former police officers, Raul Fernandez and Charlie Dayoub, on a conspiracy charge of pinning four unsolved home burglaries on a 16-year-old so the chief could claim a perfect clearance rate on property crimes in 2013. The teen also was black.

Florida cops framed Blak men for crimes 1.JPG

Prosecutors said Ravelo, at the urging of his boss, arrested 35-year-old Clarens Desrouleaux in January 2013 for a pair of unsolved breakins.
He wrongfully wrote in an arrest affidavit that Desrouleaux “had confessed to committing the burglary.”

A year later, he similarly framed 31-year-old Erasmus Banmah for five unsolved vehicle burglaries, despite knowing there was no evidence to support it. In filling out the required paperwork a few days later, Ravelo again “falsely claimed in an arrest affidavit that [Banmah] had taken him to the site of the respective burglary and confessed to the items that [he] had stolen,” according to court documents.

The charges against both men were eventually dropped.

Atesiano’s officers cleared 29 out of 30 burglary cases in 2013 and 2014, a number touted by officials and local leaders. But investigators now believe at least 11 of those stem from false arrests, according to federal authorities.
The ex-police chief in June was indicted along with two former officers, Raul Fernandez and Charlie Dayoub, on a conspiracy charge for framing a spate of home burglaries on a black 16-year-old.

A month later,  internal records surfaced that support claims Atesiano encouraged them to arrest innocent people of color to clear cases.

“If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through the streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries,” one cop said in an internal probe ordered in 2014. “They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.”

Four more officers echoed the claim in an interview with an outside investigator, saying they were told to file false charges to better their crime stats. One them specifically said they were told to target black members of the community.

Fernandez, Dayoub and now Ravelo are all cooperating with FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the case against their former boss, who has denied the allegations raised against him.

 

 

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