In the real world, there are consequences for everything we do. If our parents did a decent job, we learned from an early age that good behavior gets rewarded and bad behavior gets punished. We also learned that the more we misbehaved, the more privileges were taken away. After enough discipline, most of us learned early how to conduct ourselves properly if we didn’t want to be grounded until we left for college.
That’s a simplified definition of “progressive discipline.”
Eventually, most of us grow up, figure out the difference between right and wrong, and learn how to become responsible, productive members of society.
There are some folks, however, who were either so spoiled, neglected, or both, by crappy parenting, that they grew up to become morally bankrupt adults. Because they have no moral compass, these damaged individuals usually turn to a life of crime.
In any event, I’m not quite clear on what North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess’ definition of “progressive discipline” is, but it appears to have absolutely nothing to do with “progressive misbehavior.”
Let’s take a look at Officer Jodlyn Antoine’s career in law enforcement, for example.
Two months and ten days later, he was asleep at the wheel.
Jodlyn and another officer were caught by a sergeant napping in their police vehicle under a tree at the North Miami Nursery.
According to the Notice of Disciplinary Action dated November 4, 2004, both Officer Antoine and another officer were in the car with “their heads back and their eyes closed.” Antoine was behind the wheel in the driver’s seat.
A sergeant drove by and discovered the deliberately concealed car and had to knock on the window to wake them up. Both admitted they had been there for “at least one hour.”
Upon investigation, it was discovered that Antoine “drove the vehicle to a secluded area, where they concealed their vehicle and both officers slept.” His chain of command determined that Antoine had violated North Miami Civil Service Rule XIII, Section B (1), and was “incompetent or inefficient in the performance of assigned tasks or duties.”
For this violation, he received a Written Reprimand.
Antoine managed to behave himself for the next two years and four months until February 8, 2007, when “he used his Taser in the drive-stun mode” in order to restrain a violent female. According to the Notice of Disciplinary Action dated March 8, 2007, the “Tasing occurred at approximately 4:15 p.m.” At that time, Antoine was directed by his supervising sergeant – twice – to contact Sergeant Key, who “was responsible for road duties and use of force issues.”
Instead of following instructions, Antoine waited until his shift was over. At about 11:25 p.m., he “went into Sergeant Tucker’s office and sat down at the desk across from him.” When Antoine was asked “if he had reported the Taser deployment to Sergeant Key as he had instructed … Officer Antoine looked at Sergeant Tucker but said nothing.” When asked a second time, Antoine told the sergeant that he called but Sergeant Key didn’t answer his phone. At that point, both met with Sergeant Key to report the incident.
The Notice of Disciplinary Action also notes that it took Officer Antoine “more than six hours” to notify Sergeant Key about the deployment of his Taser, “and only after Sergeant Tucker inquired about the incident.”
Furthermore, this was “not only a procedural violation, but also it prevented the proper documentation of the incident with photographs as required. In law enforcement, it is critical for an officer to follow a directive of his supervisor. Failure to follow instructions can result in serious consequences, and, as in this case, expose the officer and department to liability issues.”
I’d love to tell you what discipline was actually meted out to Officer Antoine for violating “North Miami Police Department Rules and Regulations, Sections 9 & 15, and North Miami Civil Service Rule XIII, Section B (1) & (8),” but as you can see, Page 2 (and subsequent Pages, if any) was NOT ATTACHED!
I’d like to think this was some sort of clerical error or oversight, but this is the second time that certain items of the public records that I requested were withheld from me. So, excuse me for being cynical.
Hey, Lenny … 🙂 Thank U!
In any event, I’ll update you on Antoine’s discipline once I receive the completed public record. If ever.
Three months and two days after he committed that violation, Officer Antoine screwed up so badly, he received a three day (24 hour) suspension.
This time, he violated: North Miami Civil Service Rule XII, Section B (1) FOR THE THIRD TIME; North Miami Civil Service Rule XIII, Section B (2); North Miami Police Department General Rules and Regulations, Section 9 FOR THE SECOND TIME; North Miami Police Department General Rules and Regulations, Section 22; North Miami Police Department General Rules and Regulations, Section 44; and North Miami Police Department General Rules and Regulations, Section 59.
According to the Notice of Disciplinary Action dated June 6, 2007, Antoine responded as a “back-up unit” to an activated alarm at a business. When Officer Michael Chin arrived and went to the rear of the business, he noted the door was unlocked. He contacted Antoine by radio and requested that he go to the front of the business. He didn’t arrive until ten minutes later, but not before being spotted speeding to the scene “with his emergency lights activated” by a lieutenant, who was called as additional back-up. By the time Antoine got to the scene, the lieutenant had already arrived and was standing by the front door. When asked where he was coming from, Antoine claimed that he had first driven by the rear of the business. Antoine told the lieutenant that he saw Officer Chin at the back door but didn’t get out of his car. Officer Chin refuted Antoine’s statement, stating that he never saw Antoine drive through the alley behind the business.
When it was all sorted out, it was discovered that Antoine had actually been visiting an officer working off-duty at the Publix located on 6th Avenue – apparently one of his favorite haunts – when he was called to the scene. He claimed he left the Publix two minutes after receiving the call; “however, the two-minute delay in responding still does not explain why he was seen nine minutes after the call was dispatched, driving towards the call with his emergency equipment on.”
Antoine’s violations included his failure to respond to a call in a timely manner, utilizing his emergency equipment to respond to a non-emergency call, and making “false statements both verbally and in writing to his supervisor.”
Moving right along…
A scant eight months later, Antoine was involved in “two separate incidents” regarding “Officer Safety issues by not obtaining a back-up and improperly processing a prisoner alone.”
According to the Notice of Disciplinary Action dated June 26, 2008, on February 29, 2008, Antoine took a call to check on “possible wanted subjects.” Antoine claimed he thought another officer was on the scene, but a review of the communications tape revealed that he knew that his back up “didn’t come on the air … up until approximately a minute later.”
The report noted, “Based on his tenure and experience, he should know how critical it is to have a back-up unit when making contact with possible wanted subjects. Officer Antoine continues to ignore the importance of having a back-up unit … He places himself and fellow officers in danger by not following proper safety procedures.”
The second incident for which Antoine was disciplined occurred on April 3, 2008, when Antoine “processed a prisoner by himself,” instead of having “a back-up unit to assist him.” He also told his sergeant that the prisoner had “only loose change in his pocket,” when in fact, “the subject had $33.00 in his possession.” Antoine had to be reminded that “all property is to be removed from a prisoner.”
It was noted that, “After a review of Officer Antoine’s actions in these incidents, it is evident that Officer Antoine failed to follow proper officer safety protocols and prisoner processing procedures. In addition, Officer Antoine made false verbal statements to a supervisor.”
This time around, it was determined that Officer Jodlyn Antoine violated: North Miami Civil Service Rule XII, Section B (1) FOR THE FOURTH TIME; North Miami Police Department Standard Operating Procedures, 300.09 XV. C.1.h.; North Miami Police Department Standard Operating Procedures, 300.01 VI. C. 2.; North Miami Police Department Standard Operating Procedures, 300.01 VI. C. 4.; and North Miami Police Department Standard Operating Procedures, 300.01 VI. C. 6.
This Notice of Disciplinary Action noted Antoine’s three previous violations (as I mentioned above), and stated, “based on the aforementioned details, and after the noted prior violations of a similar nature, it is recommended that Officer Antoine receive the following discipline:
A one-day (8 hour) Suspension.”
Three years later on June 6, 2011, Officer Jodlyn Antoine found himself the subject of Internal Affairs Case 2011-04. (As I previously reported last month, at that time I was not in possession of the Notice of Disciplinary Action dated June 6, 2012 resulting from this investigation. I finally received this document.)
You may recall that this case was opened when a woman complained that Antoine “utilized his police computer to access her personal information for no official police business.”
According to this Notice of Disciplinary Action, Antoine was found to be in violation of: North Miami Police Department S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure), Mobile Laptop Computers, 100.06 IV, Paragraph D, Section #7, North Miami Police Department S.O.P., Mobile Laptop Computers, 100.06 IV, Paragraph A; and DAVID System Usage Agreement.
For these violations, Officer Antoine received a Written Reprimand.
Instead of improving his performance, as we all know by now, a second Internal Affairs investigation (Case 2014-02) took place after a woman filed a formal complaint accusing him of harassment and using the police database to obtain private information.
According to the Notice of Disciplinary Action dated July 18, 2014, it was determined that Antoine violated: North Miami Police Department S.O.P., Mobile Laptop Computers, 100.06 IV, Paragraph B; North Miami Police Department S.O.P., Mobile Laptop Computers, 100.06 IV, Paragraph D, Section #7 FOR THE SECOND TIME; CJIS Policies and Procedures – Ethics & Misuse – FCIC/NCIC; North Miami Police Rules and Regulations, Section 30 (Use of Uniforms); North Miami Police Rules and Regulations, Section 42 (Usage of Vehicle); City of North Miami Administrative Regulations, Section 1-56.6 (Off Duty Usage of Vehicle); and North Miami Police Rules and Regulations, Section 59 (Conduct Unbecoming) FOR THE SECOND TIME.
As we also know by now, this Notice of Disciplinary Action’s recommendation was “TERMINATION.”
As we also know by now, Police Chief Leonard Burgess completely ignored the recommendation and decided to give Officer Jodlyn Antoine one more slap on the wrist.
And even though Antoine didn’t learn his lesson the FIRST SIX TIMES he screwed up…
THIS time he promises to behave.
And this time he really, really means it!
Yeah, I thought that was funny, too.
Almost as hilarious is the Last Chance Agreement that North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess “recommended” instead of the “TERMINATION” that Antoine’s chain of command recommended.
On September 12, 2014, the City of North Miami, Jodlyn Antoine and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association entered into an Agreement, “in lieu of termination … that gives the Employee a last chance to salvage his City Employment.”
In exchange for agreeing to a one month unpaid suspension and losing his take home car for six months, Officer Jodlyn Antoine promised to behave for ONE WHOLE YEAR!
Paragraph 2. c. of the Last Chance Agreement states:
“If the Employee violates any provision of the City or Police Department’s policies set forth in Paragraphs 2.a. and 2.b. above or fails to successfully perform any of his duties as a police officer during the twelve (12) month period following the effective date of this Agreement, the City may terminate the Employee’s employment immediately at its sole discretion, which termination shall be final and binding.”
So, let me get this straight.
In the course of his employment as a North Miami Police Officer, Jodlyn Antoine violated:
- North Miami Police Department Standard Operation Procedures regarding the use of computers TWICE!
- North Miami Police Department Rules and Regulations regarding conduct unbecoming TWICE!
- Civil Service Rules regarding competence and efficiency in the performance of his duties FOUR TIMES!
- He committed a bunch of egregious violations of these and other rules and regulations a grand total of SEVEN TIMES!
As punishment for all these violations, Officer Antoine received two Written Reprimands, one 8-Hour Suspension, one 24-Hour Suspension, one 1-Month Suspension, and (thanks to an incomplete public record) one Unknown-At-This-Time Discipline.
Yet, somehow, in the interest of “progressive discipline,” Chief Leonard Burgess still gave him One More Last Chance!
For one year from the date of the Last Chance Agreement, if Jodlyn Antoine commits any violation whatsoever he may be immediately terminated.
At the city’s discretion, of course.
Meanwhile, Antoine has already served more than half of his one year “punishment.”
Let’s not forget he served the first three months of the one year “sentence” while he was STILL on PAID administrative leave which began on March 27, 2014.
(NOTE TO NORTH MIAMI TAXPAYERS: Chief Lenny still hasn’t explained why he waited nearly two months after the recommendation of “TERMINATION” was handed down to enter into this Last Chance Agreement. Or, why he then waited MORE THAN ANOTHER TWO MONTHS to begin Antoine’s unpaid one month suspension. The Chief squandered almost four months of a police officer’s salary, plus benefits, that could have been paid to someone who was actually working. But, I digress.)
While y’all were working and paying for the privilege of keeping Jodlyn Antoine employed…
He was earning a paycheck for not working.
He was also accruing vacation, holiday and sick time.
During those three months, he didn’t have to worry about misbehavin’ on the job because, while he was being generously compensated, technically he wasn’t on the job.
Beginning December 14, 2014, he spent the next two months of the term of his Last Chance Agreement serving an unpaid (one-week-on-one-week-off) month-long suspension with no incident.
Since he returned to work full time with pay on February 14, 2015, he has so far managed to keep out of trouble.
But, look out, North Miami! On September 13, 2015, Officer Jodlyn Antoine’s agreed upon Year of Good Behavior will expire.
In less than six months, Officer Jodlyn Antoine gets do-overs.
He gets to reset the clock.
And Chief Lenny gets to start his very special version of “progressive discipline” all over again.
How nice for the both of them.
Not so much for the residents of North Miami.
(NOTE TO NORTH MIAMI TAXPAYERS: Google Negligent Retention.)
The vast majority of the members of the North Miami Police Department are among the best, brightest and most professional law enforcement officers in South Florida.
Unfortunately, this Chief and his fellow corruptocrats are doing a less than stellar job of maintaining that professionalism.
It is also an unfortunate truth that even one “problem child” like Jodlyn Antoine on the force can ruin the morale and reputation of an entire police department.
Yet somehow, according to Chief Leonard Burgess, the blogger is the problem.
“Spreading the Wealth”