An Opa-locka police sergeant once dubbed “Florida’s Worst Cop” after repeatedly beating allegations of misconduct has prevailed yet again.
A Miami-Dade appeals court on Wednesday overturned the witness-tampering conviction of German Bosque, who had handcuffed and cursed out a man who walked into the Opa-locka police station to file a complaint against him.
The reason: Prosecutors failed to turn over police dispatch recordings that would have bolstered his defense at the trial in June 2014. Bosque, 53, had been sentenced to 364 days in jail, though he hadn’t served any time because of the ongoing appeal.
Now, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office must decide whether to retry Bosque, who has since been fired from the police department of the troubled city.
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“I think he should get his job back,” defense attorney David Molansky said Wednesday. “I don’t think he should be re-tried.”
A Miami-Dade State Attorney’s spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing the appellate decision to determine our future course of action.”
Bosque earned infamy for remaining employed as a police sergeant despite a long history of internal affairs complaints, including allegations that he beat up youths, hid drugs in his patrol car and called in sick to take a vacation in Mexico.
Opa-locka fired Bosque six times. Five times he got his job back, helped by city politics, a powerful police union and bungled internal affairs investigations. Before working in Opa-locka, Bosque had been booted from the police academy twice and fired from two other departments.
That track record earned him a string of unflattering headlines, with assorted publications dubbing him as Florida’s “worst,” “dirtiest” or “most corrupt” cop.
At his sentencing, Bosque defended his record of aggressive policing, saying “only the media wants to get rid of me.”
But in August 2011, prosecutors said, Bosque went too far after he was called to a domestic dispute in Opa-locka.
At the scene, a city youth counselor was visiting with his infant son outside the home of the child’s mother. The former lovers began arguing. She called police. Bosque was one of the officers who responded.
The counselor testified that Bosque punched him in the eye while trying to take the baby away. Soon after, the man showed up at the police station to file a complaint. A dispatcher summoned Bosque, who was alleged to have grabbed the man’s cellphone, hurled it across the police lobby, pushed him up against the wall and handcuffed him.
Jurors acquitted Bosque of battery but convicted him of two felonies: witness tampering and false imprisonment.
The imprisonment charge didn't hold up — Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel de la O, while frowning upon Bosque's behavior, ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Bosque acted without probable cause. He dismissed the charge. But the witness tampering charge was allowed to stand.
But the conviction was doomed when Bosque’s defense team discovered the existence of police radio dispatches that showed that the sergeant knew that the counselor had possibly committed an aggravated assault on his former girlfriend. After the trial, prosecutors found the recordings and handed them over to the defense.
Those records, the judges ruled, undercut the theory that Bosque was acting out of retaliation.