by Jayson Hawkins
All German Bosque ever wanted was to be a cop. When he was kicked out of the police academy for theft of a motor vehicle and impersonating an officer, some in law enforcement may have dismissed his ensuing arrest as simply a sign of Bosque’s eagerness to be on the job. Despite being booted from the academy a second time, Bosque’s passion for policing eventually landed him a job with the Opa-locka Police Department, near Miami, Florida.
After two more arrests and being terminated seven times, Bosque’s employment was a risk the city has come to regret. “I don’t like corrupt cops,” Bosque insisted to the Miami Herald following his most recent firing in May 2021. “I hate when I’m portrayed as a dirty cop who slipped through the cracks.”
Considering the 40 internal affairs investigations concerning Bosque that have piled up in his 28-year career, those “cracks” would be better characterized as a gaping chasm. A decade ago, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune remarked that Bosque’s personnel file had more akin with a “rap sheet than a resume,” and his behavior has not improved since: 16 complaints of battery or excessive force, multiple incidents of defying orders, misusing police firearms, falsifying paperwork, stealing from suspects, and lying to his ranking officers. Off the job, several women have accused him of stalking and domestic abuse.
Bosque was convicted in 2014 of witness-tampering and false imprisonment. Despite receiving a 364-day jail sentence, he never served a day. An appeals court later overturned the case because prosecutors had neglected to give records to Bosque’s lawyer, and Opa-locka was forced to reinstate his job on the force. Bosque’s familiarity with this process—and the power of the police union perhaps—account for his confident response that this latest firing was no cause for concern.
“It’s a wrongful termination,” Bosque said. “Again. I’ll be getting my job back, again.”
Opa-locka City Manager John Pate said Bosque’s seventh firing resulted from an incident on October 15, 2020, where he was caught on tape telling an officer under his command to lie about losing evidence. The junior officer had been assigned to watch an abandoned firearm until Miami-Dade could arrive on the scene to secure it, but the gun was subsequently stolen when the officer stepped away to his vehicle.
“What do we tell them you went to get in the car?” Bosque asked on the body camera footage.
“I went to check the call log and see if we could pull a case number,” the officer replied.
“No, something else. Anything else? You thought it was going to rain and you came to get a tarp…. You were going to cover it with a tarp or something; you didn’t want it to get wet,” Bosque suggested.
Opa-Locka’s decision to terminate noted that Bosque and the other officer endangered their fellow cops and the community by making no attempt to locate the missing firearm. The city also cited Bosque’s failure to fulfill his duties as a supervisor and accused him of other “corrupt acts.”
Andrew Axelrad, Bosque’s representative from the South Florida Police Benevolent Association, denied any wrongdoing on his client’s part.
“There was never a direct or even implied order to do anything but tell the truth. Bosque was just trying to determine what the truth was when he first got to the scene, which is routine in police work.”
Axelrad laid the blame for his client’s dismal record on the police administration’s “lack of integrity” and accused them of “conducting improper investigations” on Bosque.
Pate shot back that police unions had make it virtually impossible to fire individuals who never should have been cops. “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.”
Few outside of law enforcement would peg Bosque as anything but a proverbial bad apple, yet the bigger issue at stake is an entire system that refuses to purge its own rotting fruit.
Sources: techdirt.com, thedailybeast.com
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