Police Chief: Officers to blame for termination

Published On: Oct 23 2012 06:03:28 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 23 2012 06:16:10 PM EDT
Surveillance still
MEDLEY, Fla. -

The Medley Police Department is responding to wrongful termination allegations from three officers who, police say, lost their jobs for wrongly arresting and using a man to cover up a car crash.

Authorities said surveillance video proves that one of the three fired officers was to blame for an accident the trio tried to pen on Leovigildo Fraga, the driver of a vehicle hit by an officer, last fall.

Police Chief Jeanette Said-Jinete wrote the following in a statement emailed to Local 10: "The Town of Medley has no personal animosity towards these officers. They were terminated after an independent investigation by another city and based on surveillance video, which is not consistent with their reports. The facts and the video speak for themselves. The only people to blame for the termination are the officers themselves who breached the trust of the people of Medley and the State of Florida. Any other allegations are simply trying to divert attention from the behavior."

The statement was released after Local 10's Sasha Andrade reported on the appeal and lawsuit.

According to the original police report, Fraga was traveling at a high rate of speed and did not have the right of way when he crashed into officer Freddy Romero. Authorities said Fraga was arrested, but charges against him were dropped after a breathalyzer at the police station showed he was sober with a blood alcohol level of 0.00. Police said they soon began investigating Romero and the two other officers, Jorge Perez and Joseph Olmedo, who assisted in writing the report and arresting Fraga, police said.

The Police Benevolent Association is representing two of the three officers who were fired. Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera told Local 10 that the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office would have prosecuted the officers if they had actually committed a crime.

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