Call me crazy, but I find reading Internal Affairs investigation reports seriously fascinating. I’ll take reading about a real life crazy-cop soap opera drama over watching a marathon of Law & Order reruns any day of the week.
I finally read the two Internal Affairs reports on North Miami Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine and, trust me, they did not disappoint. Yeah, crazy good stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, the first IA investigation (Case 2011-04) involved a complaint made by a Ms. Germine Charite who “alledged that Officer Antoine has utilized his police computer to access her personal information for no official police business. Ms. Charite also alleged that Officer Antoine provided the information to another person.”
The investigation revealed that at the time the complaint was made on June 7, 2011, Ms. Charite stated that she and Officer Antoine had “been dating for approximately 8 years.” The woman had also discovered that Antoine was simultaneously dating a Ms. Carol Voltaire, with whom he had “a child in common,” and who told Ms. Charite that their mutual boyfriend “used his police computer to show her a driver’s license picture of Ms. Charite.”
When Ms. Charite attempted to call the police department “a few times” in order to file a complaint against him, Officer Antoine “told her to stop harassing him at work.” She also told the officer who took her complaint, Sergeant Rivera, “that she was afraid that Officer Antoine would retaliate if she gave a statement.” By this time, both Ms. Charite and Officer Antoine had filed Temporary Injunctions for Protection Against Dating Violence … against each other.
The Internal Affairs investigator, Major Trevor Shinn, conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations, which included his interviews of all parties to this complaint, reviews of records from Antoine’s computer and his access of the police database, confirmation of Officer Antoine’s understanding of, and agreement to comply with, “Computer, Internet and E-Mail Access and Usage,” as well as the Major’s continuous review and notation of the proceedings in the court case regarding the the mutual restraining orders of the parties.
In a surprising move while the investigation was still ongoing, Officer Antoine decided to take a one year leave of absence beginning July 26, 2011 through July 26, 2012, after which he “may be hired back.” On his last day of work, Antoine approached Major Shinn to ask about the investigation, at which time the Major advised him that “it would not be sensible to try to force an interview prior to his separation,” and informed Antoine that he “would proceed with the investigation without his testimony if he was not available.”
At the conclusion of the report, Major Shinn noted that, “The investigation has produced evidence to reasonably conclude that Officer Antoine used [DAVID, the police database] for personal business.” The file was then turned over to the Disposition Panel for review, and subsequent recommendation for discipline.
You know, THE RECOMMENDATION THAT WASN’T INCLUDED IN MY PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST!
Yeah, I’m still a little ticked off about that.
(Shake it off, Steph. Shake it off.)
In a “Supplemental Report” to Internal Affairs Case 2011-04, dated March 6, 2012, twenty two days after “Officer Antoine was rehired as a Police Officer on February 13, 2012” (five months earlier than Antoine’s original planned return), Major Shinn was able to interview Antoine in the presence of an attorney from the Dade County Police Benevolent Association. “In his statement, Officer Antoine acknowledged that on June 3, 2011, he utilized DAVID to access Ms. Cherite’s driver’s license information. He denied that he provided the information to Ms. Voltaire…”
Promptly throwing his baby mama under the bus.
What a guy!
At the conclusion of this “Supplemental Report,” Major Shinn noted that the file “is being returned to the Disposition Panel for consideration.”
The recommendation of which, as we already know, I DO NOT HAVE!
Three months, one week and one day after Officer Antoine returned from his self-imposed leave of absence, yet another woman filed a complaint against him.
According to the report on Internal Affairs Case 2012-02, Ms. Ibena Rupert alleged that “Officer Antoine has harassed her on numerous occasions over the past two years. She claims that Officer Antoine has made flirtatious remarks and improper advances toward her.” She also told Sergeant Ralph Estrugo that Antoine’s “advances by Officer Antoine are becoming progressively worse, and she is in fear for her safety.”
The investigation revealed that Antoine allegedly harassed her at the Publix Supermarket on NE 6th Avenue, at a funeral home on March 24, 2012 and gave her a traffic ticket on May 8, 2012.
The investigation also revealed that while Sergeant Estrugo “was meeting with Ms. Rupert in his office, Officer Antoine entered the squad room and attempted to enter Sergeant Estrugo’s office,” which “caused Ms. Rupert to cry and act as if she was in fear for her safety.”
After the final incident on May 8, 2012, Ms. Rupert “immediately called 911 and alleged that she was being harassed by the Officer.”
The funeral home located on NE 149 Street and West Dixie Highway that Ms. Rupert attended on March 24, 2012 was the unfortunate target of a horrific drive-by shooting that made national headlines. Luckily she was not injured. She claims that Antoine was one of the officers who responded to the scene and that he approached her after the shooting. Ms. Rupert also stated that “she referred Officer Antoine to her boyfriend” for a statement.
Major Trevor Shinn, who conducted this investigation, wrote that Antoine claimed “he did not see or talk with Ms. Rupert while on the scene.”
Interestingly, however, Major Shinn also noted that, “A review of the Department’s Daily Incident Log does not reflect that Officer Antoine responded as a back up to a shooting incident on March 24, 2012, in the area of 149 Street and West Dixie Highway.”
Clearly something is amiss.
Antoine showed up at a scene to which he wasn’t called, and spoke to a woman he’s been harassing, yet claims he didn’t see her while he was at the place he wasn’t supposed to be in the first place.
Yeah, I know. Weird.
But here’s the thing.
Just based on his three North Miami Police Department Internal Affairs investigations, it certainly appears that Officer Antoine has exhibited a pattern of misconduct. Two of the investigations involved his abuse of the police database, and all three of them involve his being accused of harassing women. Since none of these three women appear to know each other at all, Antoine cannot claim there’s a conspiracy against him. It’s not hard to come to the conclusion that this law enforcement officer just might be a predator or some kind of deviant. Or both.
And, yet, for whatever reason, he is still employed by the City of North Miami.
More suspiciously, for whatever reason, Police Chief Leonard Burgess refuses to terminate his employment.
An almost more perplexing question, however, is why did North Miami hire him in the first place?
While he was employed by the Village of Biscayne Park, between the years of 2002 and 2004, Antoine was issued:
1. A Memorandum from Officer Enrique Casabo to Lt. Mitchell Glansberg regarding Antoine’s “Careless driving display and the disregard to the safety of officers and a prisoner.” (February 21, 2002)
2. A written warning by Lieutenant M. Glansberg for “Playing with [his] lights and sirens showing off to a girl” while on duty but out of his jurisdiction (again at the 6th Avenue Publix). (February 9, 2004)
3. An Interoffice Memo from Sgt. Michael J. Marchese gently reminding Antoine of a discussion regarding his “off duty job, pager, decoy unit and memo on missed PFC (Pre-File Conference).” (February 19, 2004)
4. A Memorandum from Lieutenant M. Glansberg to Chief Gotlin regarding a “Telephone Complaint on Officer Antoine,” in which a Miami Shores resident complained that a marked Biscayne Park patrol car was parked in front of his residence for nearly two hours. After asking Antoine about his car, Lieutenant M. Glansberg reported that Antoine responded to a call in El Portal and then “met Sergio from Miami-Shores Police Department … just to say hello. Officer Antoine said that he was sick of people lying and was going to go back and finish college. I had no further conversation with Officer Antoine.” The investigation uncovered that Officer Antoine was visiting a married woman, who claimed to be separated from her husband at the time. (March 4, 2004)
5. A Memorandum from Sgt. Albert noting that Antoine “patrolled only 29 miles during your 8-hour shift” and that he “handled only 1 call from 1735 hours to 1800 hours. There is no indication of any other activity that would preclude you from patrolling more than 3.62 miles per hour.” (June 9, 2004)
6. A Written Warning from Sgt. Elisabeth Albert for Antoine’s completely disregarding numerous Lawful Orders to correct errors he made in two Crash Reports, a worksheet, a Grand Theft report and a Property Receipt. Sgt. Albert closed the Warning with, “You are cautioned that further incidents of this type will be dealt with progressive discipline.” (June 29, 2004)
7. A Memorandum from Sgt. Albert to Sgt. Marchese noting that Antoine did not show up to an off-duty job at TransAtlantic Bank, claiming that he “filled the position with Officer Meza.” However, “Meza was already scheduled and was working the same shift at Total Bank.” Attempts were made to call Antoine “at home, on his cellular telephone, and on his pager, to no avail.” At one point, someone at the Department named Carol “said that she had spoken to Officer Antoine again and believed that she had woke him up again.” Sgt. Albert closed the Memorandum with, “I request that you look into this problem as well as the earlier problem this morning and take measures to correct things.” (July 16, 2004)
And yet, just ten days later on July 26, 2004, Police Officer Jodlyn Antoine started his new job at the North Miami Police Department.
The rest, as you all know, is history.
If I ever get the rest of my public records request, I’ll be able to tell you what discipline, if any, Officer Jodlyn Antoine received for his alleged offenses that led to the 2011 and 2012 Internal Affairs investigations.
Then we can ask Chief Leonard Burgess all about “progressive discipline.”
“Spreading the Wealth”