Police officers in Miami, Florida allegedly committed 40 incidents of misconduct between 2017 and 2018 while they were working off-duty as security guards at private events and businesses, according to a new report released Wednesday.
The Miami New Times said that, for years, police officers have been accused of acting inappropriately while doing other off-duty jobs, and that the report released this week provides data to back up the anecdotal claims. The report was published Wednesday by The Miami Civilian Investigative Panel, an independent and impartial arm of the Miami government that exists to investigate the city’s police force, according to its website.
“For the past two years, Panel members noticed a disturbing pattern emerge and asked our staff to research incidents involving ‘extra duty’ assignments,” the report said via The Miami New Times.
The report details several instances in which Miami police officers working off-duty acted inappropriately. In one reported instance in 2017, a Miami police officer allegedly threatened to arrest a woman who had called the police to report a noise complaint about a venue in which he was employed as a security guard. In another reported instance, off duty police officers could be seen standing in a circle while a woman danced on the hood of a police car.
Last year, while attending the Ultra music festival, a woman alleged that four off-duty officers working at the event fractured her elbow while they were removing her from the venue.
Other allegations include those that police officers did not inform their supervisor that they were working in an off-duty capacity. One officer allegedly worked for more than 13 hours at a shoot for a Coca-Cola advertisement and then immediately reported to work for a 10-hour police shift, which is against police regulations, according to the Miami news outlet.
The report also suggests police superiors ignore officers who violate rules about working too many hours. Not even a single instance of this type had been investigated in 2017 or 2018. When any claims of off duty misconduct were investigated, officers would become hostile toward internal investigators, according to the report.
While Miami police officers are prohibited from working at clubs and bars, they are allowed to work at institutions that serve alcohol but that their primary purposes are as restaurants. The report also stated that many officers have been allowed to circumvent the rule by working in parking lots next to bars and clubs and not inside the actual establishments.
According to the report, 30 percent of the misconduct accusations occurred at venues that served alcohol. Another 15 percent of the misconduct allegations occurred with off-duty officers who worked in Miami’s downtown club district, The Miami New Times reported.
The source said they reached out to Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina via text message, and that he had agreed with most of the report’s findings. He claimed that changes were already underway with certain vendors to help “mitigate” these situations.
The Miami Civilian Investigative Panel created a list of 18 recommendations that they said would help alleviate some of the issues outlined in the report, though the organized panel notably did not call for the police force to end the practice of allowing off-duty officers working as security for private companies.
The report comes at a time when police officers around the nation are under scrutiny for their behaviors both on and off duty. As The Inquisitr previously reported, a Dallas, Texas police officer was found guilty of murdering her neighbor in his own home last year while she was off-duty.