Miami Police Officer Charged With Robbing People
A Miami police officer was arrested last week and accused of systematically targeting drivers, pulling them over and robbing them while they were in his custody.
Jose R. Acosta robbed at least five people, police said at a news conference on Monday, after the rookie officer was apprehended in a weeks-long sting operation by state and local law enforcement, fired and charged with armed theft and armed burglary.
“Instead of seeking to rid Miami of crime, he became a criminal himself,” Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. “These acts of public corruption make everyone, unfortunately, very cynical.”
— Amy Viteri (@TVAmyViteri) March 13, 2017
The arrest comes as Miami police face other issues of public trust. A federal investigation into the department, prompted by a rash of police shootings several years ago, resulted in oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Three other rookie cops were fired in December, the Miami Herald reported, after allegedly joking about using civilians as target practice.
Officials were quick to condemn Acosta, who joined the force in May — and to credit each other for quickly bringing the officer down after a driver complained about him last month.
“The victims were not aware at the time,” Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera said Monday. “They legitimately believed it was a traffic stop.”
Acosta would prowl for victims outside his patrol zone — into Miami’s upscale Wynwood arts district, police said.