by Doug Ankney
The city of Opa-Locka, Florida, recently terminated Police Sergeant German Bosque's employment for the seventh time. Once dubbed "Florida's Worst Cop," Bosque had worked with the Opa-Locka Police Department for 28 years and was fired seven times for violations ranging from excessive force, stealing from suspects, and misusing police firearms. He has been arrested—and cleared—three times.
The plethora of misconduct claims garnered Bosque statewide notoriety. A 2011 report from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune stated Bosque's personnel file was more like "a rap sheet than a resume." The report detailed over 40 internal affairs complaints against Bosque, with 16 alleging excessive force or battery.
In 2014, Bosque was convicted of false imprisonment and witness tampering due to illegally handcuffing a man who was attempting to file a complaint against him. In 2016, the witness-tampering conviction was overturned after a judge determined prosecutors failed to disclose exculpatory records. A State Attorney's Office declined to re-try Bosque, and an arbitrator awarded his job back in 2018.
City Manager John Pate told The Daily Beast that Bosque's most recent firing came after an internal review found he had "engaged a subordinate officer to create a false police report and failed to secure a firearm at a crime scene." After the subordinate discovered the firearm was missing and replaced with a phony plastic version, Bosqe was caught on body camera yelling at the subordinate and coaching him on how to create a false narrative to conceal the truth.
Andrew Axelrad, an attorney for the South Florida Police Benevolent Association representing Bosque, said his client denies any wrongdoing and insists they will fight for his reinstatement. "Bosque did present potential reasons why the officer may have gone to his car, abandoning his post," said Axelrad. "In no way was this intended to cover up the incident, but to try to determine if there were an acceptable reason for the officer to have abandoned his post." Addressing the fact that this was Bosque's seventh termination, Axelrad added that "each case needs to be looked at separately. The number is certainly high, but that is only because each case was so weak that termination could not possibly have been sustained."
But Pate sharply disagreed. "Unfortunately, the powerful police unions and employment arbitrators who sit in judgment of these cases have put Sgt. Bosque back to work as a police officer every time," Pate said. He added that this power denied the city's ability "to correct and punish a bad cop who tarnishes the badge."
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