For more than 10 minutes, former Opa-locka Sgt. German Bosque breathlessly defended his police career.
He called himself a “community officer.” Sure, he had 40 internal affairs complaints over two decades — but that’s because he was a “hunter” not afraid to root out the bad guys.
“I hate lazy police officers,” Bosque told a judge Friday. “I wasn’t one of those and that’s why I have 40 complaints.”
And he insisted, over and over, that it was the “sensational” press fueling the criminal probe that brought him down. “Only the media wants to get rid of me,” Bosque said.
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Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel de la O listened thoughtfully but was not swayed. He sentenced Bosque to 364 days in jail for handcuffing and cursing out a man who had walked into the Opa-locka police station to file a complaint against him.
“You didn’t like it and then you betrayed your oath,” de la O said. “You let down your community and you let down your fellow officers.”
Bosque wasn’t jailed right away. He’ll remain free on bond while his lawyers appeals his conviction for felony witness tampering.
When Bosque leaves jail eventually, he’ll also have to serve four years of probation, plus complete 500 hours of community service.
The sentencing hearing comes one month after he made positive news: following a Miami Lakes bank robber until police officers could arrest him.
“He foiled a bank robbery on his own. He risked his life for the community,” defense attorney David Molansky told the judge. “Now they want him to do more community service.”
The felony conviction marks perhaps the final ignominious chapter in the controversial career of the longtime officer in Opa-locka, a small city with a history of dysfunction and corruption.
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.
But his career took a final nosedive in August 2011, when Bosque was called to the scene of a domestic dispute between Korey Davis, a youth counselor, and his baby’s mother.
Davis told jurors during Bosque’s trial in June that during the incident the sergeant unjustly punched him. Ultimately, Bosque did not arrest Davis.
Immediately afterward, Davis went to the police department to file a complaint against the sergeant.
During the trial, jurors heard that Bosque hurled the man’s cell phone across the police-department lobby, handcuffed him and cursed him out before finally letting him go without an arrest.
“I should have been allowed to walk into a police station and make a complaint, no matter how long it took, no matter what time it was,” Davis told the judge Thursday.
Jurors acquitted Bosque of battery but convicted him of two felonies: witness tampering and false imprisonment.
The imprisonment charge didn’t hold up — the judge, 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 troubled de la O.
“The jury got it right,” the judge said Thursday.
Bosque, who despite his rant against the media has boasted to reporters about his career, remained defiant during his rambling speech in court.
He fully admitted cursing out Davis. “I didn’t ‘F’ him. I let him go. I could have F’ed him,” he said.
Wearing a white guayabera shirt and gesturing emphatically, Bosque said he connected with citizens in the predominantly African-American population of Opa-locka “better than black officers.”
And Bosque, the father of an infant son, insisted he was “on the same team” as the prosecutors and state agents who charged him, though he bristled at investigators tailing him during their efforts.
“I got a girlfriend that doesn’t cook,” he joked. “They followed me to PF Chang‘s. They followed me to Houston’s. All I do is go eat and go to movies.”