The Miami-Dade Police Department's Task 5 tape, recorded on the morning of August 24, 2004, became evidence in the recent trial of suspended Miami City Commissioner Arthur Teele. That morning Teele, a former U.S. Army Ranger, discovered someone in a silver SUV was following his wife. The commissioner, who was driving a black Hyundai sedan, chased MDPD Det. Mark "Bull" Bullard through Overtown, onto I-95, and finally to the eastbound shoulder of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, where the pursuit ended. Last week Teele was acquitted of aggravated assault but found guilty of threatening police officers involved in an investigation; his suspension now becomes permanent removal from office. ("Let me tell you something. I am armed. The next time anybody follows my wife they better be prepared to start shooting," Teele fulminated.)
Side A of the Task 5 tape contains the conversations of the Task 5 squad before and during the chase. Side B holds a brief conversation after the incident as the cops sped off in their unmarked vehicles and headed over the causeway to find breakfast in Miami Beach. All testified that they did not know that their communications were being automatically recorded. Upon the prosecution's request, Judge Dennis Murphy excluded Side B as evidence in the trial, ruling that it was irrelevant to the case. New Times asks readers to be the judge:
Mark Bullard:Benny, what's the address, 41st Street and what?
Benny Guerrero: Bull, I don't know the exact address, but it's over here on the north side of 41st Street . Don't go that way. I mean you gotta go this way. Just for [your] information here, the delicatessen's over here on the left somewhere. On the next block, I think, or so.
Steve White or Greg Benjamin:Benny, this is Jew heaven. There's a deli on every corner.
Guerrero:No, no, I'm going to get you the exact name of the place. It's up here by the hardware store, the next block over. It's up here, it's called Arnie and Richie's. It's on the north side of the street, Arnie and Richie's. It's a big awning with the name of the deli on it.
Steve White or Greg Benjamin: And we know where there's a good gay place.
Guerrero:What was that?
Steve White or Greg Benjamin: Bull and I know where there's a good gay place.
Guerrero:(Unintelligible single syllable, sounds like a spitting sound.)