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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

APRIL 17, 2013

CASE TAMPERING
PART III
DID MAJOR CUNNINGHAM APPROVE THE RELEASE OF EVIDENCE, OR WAS HIS NAME USED WITHOUT PERMISSION

On February 25th I wrote the first story about how a relatively minor case of a guy who had mouthed off to a Miami cop guarding the perimeter of an area where 3 at-large armed robbers were loose, had gotten arrested, and his cellphone - which he had been using to take photos - was confiscated and put in the Miami Police Department’s property room as evidence until his trial.


The case blew up when Sgt. Rolando Davis, supposedly a family friend of the arrested guy, sent a critical email to the Assistant State Attorney handling the case, alleging that Officer David Carpenter, who had made the arrest, had done so out of vengeance, and most importantly, that he had returned the cellphone to the defendant, Arron McKinney.


On March 18th, I wrote another story including a copy of  the Property Room receipt that claimed that the release of McKinney’s cell phone had been authorized by Officer Carpenter.


As I wrote at the time, that was highly improbable based on the claims made by Sgt. Davis in his own email to the State Attorney’s office that he had been the one who had returned  the cellphone to McKinney.


But, it turns out that this is Miami, and if things can get worse, they often do.


Below is another, and more detailed copy of the Property Room receipt that implicates Major Keith Cunningham as the Command Officer who gave ultimate approval for the release of this cellphone.


Cunningham was the Commander of the North District at the time that the Barbershop Gambling Protection Racket was taking place, and he was recently removed and replaced by Major Dennis “Lexus” Jackson, which could prove fortuitous for that small segment of the of the used car dealers in the North End that sells stolen cars to cops.

Now, this document doesn’t necessarily mean that Cunningham approved the release of the cell phone, but if he didn’t, then the only conclusion is that Sgt. Davis not only illegally authorized the release of McKinney’s cellphone, but in doing so went so far as to illegally use the Major’s name as approving this action.


Now, let’s put this into some perspective. This wasn’t a murder case, and it wasn’t the murder weapon that disappeared from the Property Room.


At the same time, illegally releasing evidence and possibly using a false authorization of a Command Officer to do so is not a minor issue.


Chain of custody is a core foundation of the criminal justice system.  If evidence can be released like this cell phone was, on the supposed authorization of a Command Officer and a IA Sergeant not directly involved in the case, then this represents a real problem for the Miami Police Department, and a golden opportunity for defense attorneys to allege that evidence in their cases has been tampered with too.


If it was done once - and once was one time too many - then how many other times could it, or has it been done.


All big city police departments have problems of one kind or another, but the Miami Police Department has too many problems, and too many examples of gross incompetence and mismanagement - not to mention the continuing arrests of dirty cops - for there not to be concern over how poorly managed this Department has become under the administration of Tomas Regalado.


He’s the Mayor, and one of he few privileges he has as Mayor is to pick the Chief of Police. The Chief is responsible for running the Department. If the Chief does a bad job and the Department is run poorly - as this Department has demonstrably been run - then you blame the Chief, and you blame the Mayor!


Under Chief Manny Orosa, the Miami Police Department has become a fucking disaster, and the person who deserves the blame for turning the Miami Police Department into that disaster is Tomas Regalado!


It’s Miami, Bitches!

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