FEBRUARY 13, 2013


On Thursday, January 24th, during the City Commission meeting, Miami Police Chief Manny Orosa told me that the police department would be turning over the documents and the tape of the January 7th, Placido Diaz incident at the Los Ranchos restaurant at Bayside where he is alleged to have pulled out his service revolver and threatened to kill himself, and possibly others.

On Friday, January 25th, George Wysong, the Assistant City Attorney who serves as the department’s legal counsel provided me with the incident report and the property receipt, and told me that I should have the 911 tape in a few days.

On February 11th, 33 days after the incident, Chief Orosa, in an impromptu meeting at the headquarters of the Miami Police Department informed me that the tape would no longer be available because an investigation into this incident had been opened by Internal Affairs, and therefore the tape was now part of “an open investigation.”

In the vernacular of  the street, that’s just out and out bullshit!

A real Internal Affairs investigation woulda/shoulda have been started a day or two after this incident.  That an “investigation” has now been opened is nothing more than a phony, orchestrated effort to try and coverup what happened so that Placido Diaz can continue to carry a gun, and remain a Reserve Police Officer.

I don’t just make this claim, but I can actually explain to you just how this coverup is going to happen, because it actually started with the initial 911 call about the incident.

Although I haven’t been given a copy of the tape I’ve now had an opportunity to talk with multiple people within the department who did hear the tape, or with people who have talked to those people.

All of their stories are consistent.  The call was made by a female who claimed to be the manager, and her words were that she was calling for help because “she had been told” that a retired police officer had pulled a gun in the restaurant.

The operative words are, “she had been told.”  In legal terms that means that she was not a witness to the actual event, but was engaged in passing on here-say information.

So, right off the bat, the first witness turns out not be a witness after all.

Secondly, there is the Incident Report prepared by Officer Carlos Mendez.

The first thing about the Incident Report is that on page 4 of 5, where the narrative of what happened is written down you will see that Officer Mendez listed himself as both the Subject and the Author of this report.

This it turns out is a stunt pulled when someone in the Police Department wants to hide a police report in plain sight.

If someone in the news media gets wind of a story, and learns the name of a Perp, they either call the PIO, or go down to the Police Department Records Office and start asking for Incident Reports with that name.

I actually did that in this case. I went and asked for any recent Incident Reports on Placido Diaz. I was told there were none.  And that was true as far as it went.  The Incident Report had been filed under Carlos Mendez’s name.

The evidence of poor police work is right there in the above Report,  where it’s evident that Officer Mendez made no effort to question or identify anyone who could have provided an independent first-hand account about what happened.

Mendez wrote in his report, "I made contact with an employee from Los Ranchos who stated he heard a commotion and saw a W/L/M leaving the restaurant with a gun, then secure it in a white vehicle."

That employee, like the female manager of the restaurant who made the call, did not say he actually saw the incident, but rather that he "heard a commotion," which is not the same as saying, ‘I saw the commotion.’

In addition, none of the witnesses, beginning with the employee and including Placido Diaz’s stepdaughter and her husband, who had been with him at the restaurant that night,  were identified by name in the Incident Report.

Neither is there any mention made of any attempt to question and/or identify any of the other employees who would have seen the incident, because someone had to have seen what happened for the female manager to make the claim that "she had been told,” that an incident involving a retired police officer and his gun had taken place in the restaurant.

Most importantly, is the fact that none of the patrons of the restaurant seem to have been questioned and/or identified.

In summary, I believe that the Incident Report leads one to believe that Officer Mendez entered the restaurant, spoke with the employee who probably pointed Placideo out - although Mendez knew Diaz - and then Mendez proceeded to have a private conversation with Placido and his step daughter and son-in-law, who assured him things were cool.

Just to cover his ass, Mendez took the gun, turned it in at the Police Property Poom, submitted his report with the subject name wrong, and that was it.

What I believe most likely happened - but it would need subpoenas to prove or disapprove - is that as soon as Placido Diaz was able to clear his mind, he took his gun to his car and started making phone calls for help.

The odds are that he called either/or the Chief of Police and Commissioner Willie Gort, his boss. He may have even called the Mayor.  But you can bet that he called someone!

By the time Officer Mendez reached the restaurant he most likely had been advised that Placido Diaz was the person involved.

What’s really interesting is that the Incident Report doesn’t include a mention of any other cops responding to this call, or involved in any investigation and questioning of employees and patrons. 

I say that because what do you think the chances are that a 911 call to the Police Department about a guy pulling a gun in a restaurant in a tourist place, “wanting to hurt himself,” only gets one cop to show up on the scene?

The place should have been full of cops, even if for no other reason than cops are always happy to break up the monotony of patrolling with a chance to check something out like a guy wanting to blow his brains out.

From the beginning this whole incident appears to have been stage managed. The Narrative of what happened, as revealed in Méndez’s  Incident Report, is based solely on what Diaz, his stepdaughter and her husband said.

So much for competent police work!

It was only after word started leaking out and I began to get calls, that in turn led to my demands for documents,  and which in turn led to my first story about this incident, that a decision was made to open an IA investigation.

Which, given the history of how these guys operate is little more than a joke.

The available records provide no credible witnesses to having actually witnessed the event, thus giving the IA the opportunity to go with a finding of "Inconclusive".

That's the kind of stupid, twisted shit that happens in Miami with the police department.

if you start with the 911 call, then include the bad police work that failed to properly investigate the facts, to the lame excuse by the Chief that his staff could not find the file because I had given them the wrong date, and add a little political interference from someone like City Commissioner Willie Gort, who in addition to being Placido’s boss, is himself currently under criminal investigation, it’s easy to see how this incident ended up as screwy as it appears everyone would like it to appear.

The reason that they didn’t want me to get a copy the tape is because I’ve been told it’s dramatic enough to make anyone wonder how Diaz managed to evade getting hauled off on a Backer Act that night.

So that’s the case that the IA is supposed to be investigating.   I wouldn’t put much money on them doing anything but looking for a way to white-wash this case.

In an American city on the other hand, this is what you could expect a real Internal Affairs investigation would do.

The first thing would be to go to the restaurant and ask for copies of all credit card payments for that night, and then to subpoena  the contact information of all the people who paid by credit card, so they could begin interviewing them to see what any of them saw saw that night.

This is a popular restaurant, and there had to be witnesses who saw what really happened. Some, if not all of those people should have been questioned and identified by Officer Mendez before leaving the restaurant that night.

They also need to subpoena the phone records of Placido Diaz, Officer Mendez, and Diaz’s stepdaughter and son-in-law, just on the off chance that Diaz had the presence of mind to ask one of them to use their phones in order to try to avoid any evidence of questionable phone calls on his phone.

They also would need to find out why other cops did not show up, or if they did, why they didn’t play a role in what should have been a real investigation involving the questioning of employees and customers.

Typically, this type of investigation would begin with the employees, but I can tell you from my personal experience with several of the staff - I actually went to the restaurant and talked to the employees a week after the events - that even then they were scared to death to talk in detail about what happened that night.

No restaurant wants the kind of bad publicity that comes with a man pulling out a gun and threatening to shoot himself, and this place is also a popular hangout among cops. Talking too much about an incident involving a retired police officer and his gun could be perceived as hurting business.

As far as I'm concerned, the Chief telling me on Monday that I could not get a copy of the tape 911 is now a big part of a cover-up.

If needed, IA can drag this fake investigation for months and months until people have forgotten about the incident, regardless of what the final conclusion might be.

Tthe most important thing that should concern everyone during all this time is that Placido Diaz will be walking around with a Glock, Model 23, with a 13-round clip in his waistband  and the possibility of losing his mind again. Only next time this idiot could end up hurting or killing someone before attempting suicide.

This is another example of how this incompetent Police Chief, who had to become a government witness in order to avoid jail for his role in covering up the murder of Leonardo Mercardo by his squad of detectives in a case that goes go back 20 years, has allowed the Miami Police Department to go to hell in a hand basket.

Some things never change in the city of Miami, and a history of lying, corrupt and cowardly of Chief’s of Police is one of the less lovely things about life in the Magic City.

It's Miami, Bitches!



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