Prosecutors say some Florida police officers beat & waterboarded suspects for years
June 19, 2017
(SWEETWATER, FLA.) -- Prosecutors in Florida say some police officers did more than catch bad guys and write traffic tickets.
On one occasion they say, a group of Sweetwater officers ransacked a man’s home stealing his computers, TV's and the man's truck.
Another time they claim officers beat a suspected thief for hours inside the local police station and masked the sound of the beating, "By blaring reggaeton music, all while taking “trophy” photos," according to a story in the Miami Herald.
Then there was the time a crime suspect was allegedly "pummeled and “water-boarded” – forced to swallow water, in a dark room, until he falsely confessed to a burglary," said the newspaper report.
The story says those incidents are just some of the allegations against a group of Sweetwater police officers, a pair of whom were charged last Tuesday in what prosecutors claim was a pattern of theft and physical violence against local citizens.
Sweetwater is a small Florida community of about 14,000 people in Dade County.
One police Sgt., identified as Reny Armando Garcia, 46, was arrested on charges of an organized scheme to defraud, racketeering and conspiracy.
Also charged was a former Sweetwater Police detective William Garcia, 42, no relation to Reny Garcia. The report says Garcia is already in federal prison on unrelated identity theft and fraud charges.
A defense attorney for a third officer caught up in the scandal said many of the victims in the case are “scoundrels” and crooks making false allegations against the police officers.
Attorney C. Michael Cornely told the newspaper, “We’ve been defending this case for over a year. They keep adding defendants. They’re stalling. It’s like they won’t want to go to trial and get the truth out.”
Details on the story here .