Former Florida police chief sentenced to 3 years in prison for framing innocent black people
A former Florida police chief was sentenced on Tuesday to three years in jail for conspiring to frame black people for crimes they did not commit.
Ex-Biscayne Park Chief Raimundo Atesiano was handed the sentence by a federal judge in Miami after pleading guilty to intentionally ordering officers to arrest black people for multiple unsolved burglaries in order to improve the village's crime rate, the Miami Herald reports.
The 53-year-old former police chief faced up to 10 years in prison for his crimes.
"When I took the job, I was not prepared," Atesiano told the judge on Tuesday. "I made some very, very bad decisions."
In October, two former Biscayne Park officers who worked under Atesiano, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, pleaded guilty to falsifying arrest affidavits for a 16-year-old black suspect for four unsolved break-ins in June 2013. They were each sentenced to a year in prison, according to the Miami Herald.
The false burglary charges against the teenager were eventually dropped.
A third officer, Guillermo Ravelo, also admitted to falsifying arrest warrants for two individuals under Atesiano's authority in 2013 and 2014 and was sentenced to two years and three months behind bars.
"For his own professional benefit, Chief Atesiano corruptly and disgracefully abused his authority and the power of his office to create fictitious clearance statistics by falsely arresting individuals," Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said. "This kind of abuse of power has no place in our nation and is contrary to American ideals, the rule of law, and fundamental fairness."