Vote For Miami's Worst Cop of 2012
Why he is the worst: When he was a Miami police sergeant in 1988, Orosa supervised a six-cop squad who brutally beat a drug dealer named Leonardo Mercado to death. A subsequent internal affairs investigation found that Orosa failed preserve evidence in the case and he was suspended with pay in 1989. Yet in 2011 he was tapped to replace then-embattled police chief Miguel Exposito.
Orosa hasn't fared any better. Embarrassed by a Sun Sentinel investigative series on cops who drove off duty at excessive speeds, Orosa finally cracked down on traffic law breaking officers on his police force. The Sun Sentinel stories, published in February, used SunPass toll records to determine how fast cops were driving and found almost 800 hit speeds above 90 mph in a 13-month period. Miami officers were among the worst speeders, driving up to 55 mph over the speed limit outside city limits.
Meanwhile, a string of dirty cops have been busted by federal law enforcement authorities since Orosa became chief. The first to go down was Roberto Asanza, an undercover narcotics detective who pled guilty earlier this year to misdemeanor drug charges and received one year of probation after he was busted in June 2011. A year earlier, FBI agents found 10 bags of cocaine and two bags of marijuana Asanza had stolen from an Allapattah drug dealer.
Asanza agreed to cooperate against his supervisor, Sgt. Raul Iglesias, an 18-year veteran who was indicted in July for planting cocaine on suspect, stole drugs and money from dealers, and lied to federal investigators. The Miami Police Department, with roughly 1,100 sworn officers, has seen numerous officers suspended and fired in recent years because of their involvement in criminal activity, from ripping off drugs and money from dealers to fencing contraband such as stolen Bluetooth headsets.
Earlier this month, the Miami Herald reported -- based on information first broken by blogger Al Crespo -- that at least a half-dozen Miami police officers have been targeted by the FBI for their alleged roles in providing protection for a Liberty City sports gambling operation that was uncovered more than a year ago, Arrests of at least six -- and possibly more -- Miami officers are expected early next year, according to authorities.
Since Orosa took over the top job, the Miami Police department hasn't seen so many scandals since the infamous River cops case of the 1980s.