Jose R. Acosta, a rookie police officer in Miami, is behind bars after being arrested and charged for stealing from individuals that he had pulled over in the line of duty. Reportedly, Acosta would pull individuals over, and during the traffic stops, he would steal items from them.
On Saturday, Miami Deputy Police Chief, Luis Cabrera announced that Acosta had been employed by the police department for less than a year. Acosta was arrested on Friday in an operation conducted by several law enforcement agencies. He has been charged with one count of armed burglary as well as one count of armed grand theft, reports CBS.
Acosta’s last assignment was patrolling Wynwood. Acosta has been relieved of duty with no pay. He has not yet been fired.
The probe into Acosta’s actions began after accusations were made that he had robbed victims after pulling them over in traffic stops. It is unclear at this time how many individuals Acosta pulled over and stole from.
According to a police source who spoke with the Miami Herald, Acosta was accused of pulling drivers over then shaking them down. When Acosta was arrested, it was in a sting operation. The arrest was a joint effort between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the state attorney’s office and the Miami police, reports the Sun Sentinel.
On Saturday, the Miami PD posted on their Twitter account that it was “disheartening” to discover that one of their own had betrayed his oath. They shared that along with the FDLE, they had arrested one of their own.
A news conference is expected to be held on Monday. Cabrera told local media that the Miami Police Department does not tolerate any type of action that violates their oath of office as public servants. He added that as police officers their duties were to protect and serve the community.
Lt. Javier Ortiz, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Miami, released a statement saying that he would be attending Monday’s news conference. Ortiz said in the statement that he commended everyone who was involved in the efforts and thanked them for keeping the community safe.
Very little information has been given about Acosta. The only real information shared was that Acosta had been with the Miami police for around 6 months. It is unknown at this time if Acosta has retained an attorney.
By Tammy Marie Rose