In a knee-jerk response to the arrest of North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Alleda, Rivera managed to insult both North Miami City Manager Larry Spring and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, risk pissing off the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, left-wingers, right-wingers (and everyone in between), and dump on “media folks looking for ratings” and “a public whose wavering support changes with the wind.”
All in one fell swoop.
Believe me, that’s no mean feat.
Yesterday, the Miami New Times broke the story that in his defense of an incompetent cop who shot an unarmed black man with his hands up, Rivera referred to North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda as a “hero.”
His victim, Charles Kinsey, would probably beg to differ.
In a scathing letter to City Manager Larry Spring, John Rivera expressed “complete disgust with the false, irresponsible defamatory statements made by current Police Chief Gary Eugene” for his “insinuation that any officers compromised their integrity in the aftermath of this incident.” He also accused the Chief of avoiding any responsibility by blaming the City Manager and others.
When Chief Gary Eugene gave his statement to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, he admitted he was initially duped by Assistant Chief Larry Juriga, who told him that Aledda was triggered (no pun intended) into firing his weapon because Commander Emile Hollant said over the police radio that one of the subjects had a gun. However, after the Chief heard the entire police audio, which recorded two more officers unequivocally stating that it was not a gun, but a toy, he realized that Juriga lied to him. Chief Eugene was understandably upset and wanted to fire Juriga, but was prevented from doing so by the City Manager’s office.
Once the State Attorney’s Office reviewed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation findings, the SAO charged Aledda with attempted manslaughter and culpable negligence.
John Rivera also took issue with the “chief’s contention that the officers lack training and experience.”
Never mind that under the failed leadership of Chief Eugene’s predecessor, Leonard Burgess, the North Miami Police Department failed its accreditation assessment for the first time ever, including, and especially, in the area of training. Had Jonathan Aledda been trained properly in the first place, this whole fiasco might have been avoided.
In addition, as a result of the disastrous shooting, the City of North Miami has had to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send all of its officers to Crisis Intervention and Autism Awareness training courses, purchase a body-worn camera system, and create a new position for an administrator to operate the new system.
Maybe the officers did need some “training and experience” after all.
John Rivera was so disturbed by the Eugene’s testimony that he ended his letter with a not so veiled
demand suggestion that Larry Spring fire the Police Chief.
Never mind that the Chief’s statement was corroborated by the FDLE’s Affidavit in Support of Arrest Warrant.
Rivera’s nasty attitude toward a Chief of Police should definitely inspire all of his member officers to move up the ranks so that one day they, too, will be trashed by the very person who should have their backs – their union president.
Again, just saying.
In yet another letter to the PBA members, John Rivera blasted the State Attorney for her “gross and disgusting miscarriage of justice” and her “weak strength of character” for arresting a “hero.”
He groused that Aledda’s arrest was due to “purely self-serving, political reasons.” He went even further by accusing the State Attorney of “chomping at the bit to arrest an officer regardless of any evidence or even wrong doing [sic].”
Again, never mind that, in its five month-long investigation of the shooting, the FDLE had gathered more than enough evidence of wrongdoing by Aledda.
I’m certainly no fan of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, but even she gets it right once in a while.
For some weird reason, John Rivera mentioned in his letter that “Aledda gave up medical school” to become a cop.
This is a cop who can’t even shoot straight. But hey, give that man a scalpel. What could possibly go wrong?
Rivera went on to assure his PBA members that he has Aledda’s back, that the union will pay all his legal bills, and furthermore, that “we will assist our own in other various ways also.”
Like rushing to defend Larry Juriga for lying to his Chief, perhaps?
The PBA president also cautioned his officers “that doing over and above what is necessary to get by only exposes you to greater risk.”
In other words, don’t worry about the “public whose wavering support changes with the wind.”
Just clock in, collect your paycheck and, of course, pay your union dues.
Interestingly, neither of these letters contained a single reference to Commander Emile Hollant.
Remember him, John? That’s the cop who was wrongfully accused by Assistant Larry Juriga, and strong armed by Commander Angel Rivera, in order to protect the cop who actually fired his weapon.
But, but … the greater good.
Apparently, to the PBA president, Hollant is nothing but collateral damage.
Along with Charles Kinsey.
John Rivera was quick to condemn the “horrific and malicious” arrest of a “hero.”
Who shot an innocent man.
Lying in the street with his hands up.
Begging cops to put their guns down.
After all, who’re you gonna believe?
Or your lyin’ eyes?