Miami-Dade County

Rap beaten yet again: Prosecutors drop charge against notorious Opa-locka cop

Former Opa-locka cop German Bosque at his sentencing for witness tampering in November 2014. After his conviction was overturned, prosecutors this week dropped the case against him.
Former Opa-locka cop German Bosque at his sentencing for witness tampering in November 2014. After his conviction was overturned, prosecutors this week dropped the case against him. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

A former Opa-locka police sergeant notorious for repeatedly beating allegations of misconduct can add another notch to his belt.

Miami-Dade prosecutors this week quietly dropped the final criminal charge against German Bosque, who was once dubbed “Florida’s Worst Cop” by several media outlets.

The case officially fell apart eight months after a Miami appeals court overturned a witness-tampering conviction against Bosque for handcuffing and cursing out a man who walked into the Opa-locka police station to file a complaint against him.

For months, prosecutors prepared to retry Bosque, 53.

But as the trial approached, they concluded that that a recently discovered radio dispatch — uncovered by defense attorneys — undercut the State Attorney’s theory that Bosque was trying to keep the man from filing the complaint against him.

“In light of the new evidence ... the case could not be proved beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt,” prosecutor Sandra Miller Batiste wrote in a final memo released on Thursday.

Defense lawyers applauded the decision.

“Sgt. Bosque is a good police officer who was unfairly vilified in the news,” said attorney David Molansky. “He is a hard worker who aggressively policed his jurisdiction to serve and protect its citizens.”

“We are pleased that the state chose not to waste any further resources in pursuing this meritless case but are confident that if it had been brought to trial again it would have certainly resulted in another acquittal,” said another of his lawyers, Ari Gerstin.

Bosque earned notoriety because he stayed on the job despite a long history of internal affairs complaints. Those included accusations that he beat up people, hid drugs in his Opa-locka police car and even called in sick while taking a vacation in Mexico.

The city fired Bosque six times. Five times, Bosque was given his job back thanks to the police union and bungled internal affairs investigations. It’s unclear if he will try to get his job back again.

His long record earned him unflattering headlines from publications who dubbed him as Florida's “worst,” “dirtiest” or “most corrupt” cop. Bosque defended his record of aggressive policing, telling a judge “the media wants to get rid of me.”

He was arrested in 2011 after a youth counselor, Korey Davis, testified that Bosque punched him in the eye while trying to take a baby away from his arms during a domestic-dispute call.

Later, the man showed up at the Opa-locka police station to file a complaint. A dispatcher summoned Bosque and prosecutors said he pushed Davis up against the wall and handcuffed him. At trial, prosecutors insisted that Bosque had no “probable cause” to arrest Davis – and therefore handcuffed and pushed Davis only to keep him from filing the internal affairs complaint.

The jury acquitted Bosque of battery but convicted him of two felonies: witness tampering and false imprisonment. A Miami-Dade judge dismissed the imprisonment charge, saying prosecutors failed to prove Bosque acted without probable cause.

Then on appeal, Bosque's defense team discovered the existence of a police radio dispatch that showed that the sergeant was told that Davis had possibly committed an aggravated assault on the counselor’s former girlfriend.

After the trial, the defense team asked prosecutors for the dispatch. Prosecutors said they did not have it and Opa-locka police said “that it did not exist,” according to the state’s final memo.

But the police department later revealed the recording, which was handed over to the defense lawyers.

That recording, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled, was crucial evidence that should have been given to the defense before trial because it proved Bosque actually did have reason to handcuff and arrest Davis.