Former embattled Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito has broken his long silence to try to sink the job prospects of an old foe: Deputy Miami Police Chief Luis Cabrera.
Exposito was fired during a contentious debate in Miami in 2011 for insubordination following a series of police shootings of black men.
Except for expressing his views three years ago on a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into police shooting deaths in 2009 and 2010, Exposito has stayed out of the spotlight.
But this week, he reemerged, giving an interview to a Phoenix news radio station in what was clearly an attempt to derail Cabrera’s shot at becoming the police chief of Arizona’s largest city. Speaking for a few minutes Tuesday on Phoenix’s News Talk 550 KFYI, Exposito questioned Cabrera’s mental state and accused his then-deputy chief of compromising evidence at one police-involved shooting.
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The former chief said he was constantly calling Cabrera into his office to question his judgment.
“If you come under stress and all of a sudden break down crying, how are you going to resolve a problem?” Exposito asked the radio host.
As for the issue of handling evidence at one police-shooting incident, Exposito said Cabrera “stepped all over the bullet casings, and stuff like that.”
Exposito could not be reached Thursday.
His radio interview was first posted on blogger Al Crespo’s website. Crespo, a frequent critic of Miami politics and policing and Cabrera have had a fractious relationship for years.
Cabrera, just ashore Thursday afternoon from a 10-day cruise, called Exposito a “disgruntled employee” and questioned the credibility of the fired former chief.
The deputy chief said he took exception to a video made under Exposito’s watch in 2010 in which one cop says he likes to hunt and the former chief said “I wanted to have something where our guys were going out there proactively... like predators.”
“That’s not who we are as professionals,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera, 48, is the deputy chief of police in Miami. He is set for retirement at the end of 2017. He is a finalist in Phoenix, one of 10 applicants remaining. He joined the Miami Police Department 28 years ago and said in Phoenix he has “a great opportunity to lead a great department.”