By MONICA PAIS
(CN) – A police officer in Miami Gardens, Florida claims in court that he was fired for blowing the whistle on the city’s practice of carrying out illegal searches and unlawful arrests of black males.
In a federal complaint filed on Monday, Jose Rosado says that in 2011, four years after he joined the Miami Gardens Police Department, his supervisor assigned him to road patrol and directed him to target black males between the ages of 15 and 30.
Rosado claims Major Anthony Chapman went on to direct him to arrest the young men even without the “existence of probable cause.”
He says city officials enforced and encouraged the unconstitutional “stop-and-frisks, searches, seizures, arrests and prosecutions” of black males in various high crime areas.
According to the complaint, the unlawful activities were conducted by the Crime Suppression Team of which Rosado was a member.
But Rosado says some in the department claimed he was not a “team player” and, after false claims were filed against him, he suddenly found that he was denied assignments and promotions.
Rosado says that on Jan. 7, 2014, he sent a letter to the city officials revealing violations of law, wrongdoings and public waste committed by various police officers, including Major Anthony Chapman, and that the following year, he gave sworn testimony in a lawsuit filed by a black man who claimed he was harassed and subjected to a bogus arrest by police. he’d been a victim of false arrest.
Rosado was fired six months later, on June 24, 2015. He claims he was terminated in retaliation for reporting the unlawful conduct within the police department.
“From the onset through the end of his employment with MGPD, plaintiff Rosado consistently took issue with aforementioned directives issued by MGPD commanding officers due to violations of law and unconstitutional police custom and practices,” the complaint says.
Rosado seeks compensatory, direct and consequential damages on claims of employment discrimination under the Whistleblower Act. He also wants his employment record expunged of any negative items placed there in retaliation for his whistleblowing.
He is represented by Phillip Ortiz in Miami Lakes, Fla.
A representative of the City of Miami Gardens did not respond to a phone message requesting comment.
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Cheri Stabile, then a detective assigned to the Special Victim’s Unit, accused supervisors of retaliation after she complained in 2013 that her unit was moved from a private location to an open area inside the agency’s detective bureau.
Stabile argued that sex crime victims, both children and adults, should be interviewed in a secure room to safeguard their privacy.
After the detective complained to her supervisors and the police union, she was ignored by her bosses, prohibited from taking advanced training courses and intimidated by a sergeant, her lawsuit says. Eventually, she was demoted to road patrol.