Eric Matheny, a criminal defense attorney who was a Miami-Dade assistant state attorney for two years, says TNT today suffers from a philosophical problem at its core: Officers often have to assume the role of bad guys to do their job effectively.

"It's like the movie Training Day with Denzel Washington," Matheny says, referring to the Oscar-nominated film about a corrupt team of Los Angeles narcotics officers. "They almost have to step outside their roles as policemen and emulate the bad guys... Sometimes they forget that enforcing the law doesn't mean they are above the law."

On December 19, the first day of Santa's Helper, Elizabeth Level was across the street chatting with a neighbor when more than a dozen TNT cops stampeded through the front gate of the home she had bought in 1971 for $16,000. The 87-year-old retiree watched in horror as Det. Dwight Dominguez knocked down her 1-year-old great-granddaughter as he went to grab her grandson Dante. "I've never experienced anything like it," Elizabeth says. "The police were out of control that night."

The stories of the Levels and others snagged during Santa's Helper — who were just stats for TV reporters the night after the operation — illustrate why many people in their neighborhood say TNT busts forge a lack of trust between the area's residents and the undercover detectives prowling the streets.

Elizabeth is a perfect example. She says she wants the streets safe for her grandchildren — but not at the cost of her family living in fear of police. By the end of the day, three of her grandchildren were under arrest: 40-year-old Alexis, charged with cocaine possession; 30-year-old Dante, charged with marijuana possession; and 29-year-old Khalid, charged with obstruction of justice.

"Why not spend some time actually meeting the people who live here? They're out here wasting taxpayers' money putting five people in jail for the same joint," Elizabeth Level says.

She lives on a quiet tree-lined street in a residential neighborhood that would fit perfectly in a Norman Rockwell painting. Built in 1925, her abode is vintage Florida with its stucco façade and weathered wood floors.

Elizabeth made a living as a nurse's aide at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach for 34 years until she retired in 2006. She has paid off two mortgages on her house and has never been delinquent on her property taxes. During the 40 years she has raised three generations of Levels on NW 52nd Street, she has never been in trouble with the law. She spends her days looking after her 12 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her grandsons Dante and Khalid live nearby.

Dressed in a gray tank top and blue gym shorts on a recent weekday, the Georgia native corrals three of her toddler great-grandchildren into the living room and shakes her head dismissively when asked if her son and his friends were smoking pot the evening of Santa's Helper.

"Look at my yard," she says. "It's littered with cigar butts. These kids are smoking those Black & Milds all the time."

What's more, she says TNT officers were unnecessarily forceful. "They pushed my great-granddaughter to the floor," she says. "She's just a baby. The way they came in here was insulting and disrespectful."

The raid marked the second time in three months that TNT had ripped into her front yard to snatch a family member. Last October 22, while the team was arresting a couple of neighbors for allegedly smoking marijuana, Elizabeth's grandson Khalid was on the front step of the portico.

According to Dets. Jesus Martinez and Alexis Rodriguez, Khalid began mouthing off. He allegedly yelled, "Fuck all you pussies, soft-ass cops." The two officers alleged Khalid then punched and kicked them while resisting arrest for inciting a riot. Before that incident, Khalid had never been arrested for a violent crime. (He has two separate arrests for marijuana and cocaine possession, and a conviction in 2010 for possession of a controlled substance, for which he served 364 days.)

According to Elizabeth, Alexis, and neighbor Bobby Ricky Madison, the two detectives dragged Khalid off the front porch. "Once Khalid was on the sidewalk, the officer slapped him in his face with an open hand repeatedly," Madison says. "Khalid's daughter was crying, 'Why are you hitting my daddy?'" Alexis says Rodriguez knocked Khalid nearly unconscious. "I saw my brother's eyes roll back," she says. "He's lucky he didn't pass out."

Khalid filed a complaint with the Miami-Dade Police Department's internal affairs unit. Because it is still an open investigation, police officials cannot comment about it.

Two months later, the night of Santa's Helper, Khalid found himself in an all-too-similar situation. When the police showed up, he asked his grandmother if the cops had a search warrant. "That's when one of them goes, 'That's him, the one with the mouth,'" Khalid says. "I walked over to the neighbor's house and they followed me." Khalid was arrested for obstruction of justice. According to his arrest report, Khalid shouted, "Fuck the police," impeded a TNT investigation, and refused police orders to leave the scene.

(Nanney declined to comment about the Levels' complaints.)

Alexis also disputed the circumstances of her arrest December 19. According to her arrest report, TNT officers followed her into the house because she was holding a cigarette laced with cocaine. On the bed in her room, Det. Terence White claimed, he found a baggie containing less than a gram of coke.

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63 comments
fenderhawk
fenderhawk

Miami Dade has not lost anything in Liberty City or the War on Drugs. North side district is tantamount to a slum in Iraq. The police are doing a fine job despite the fact that our crooked corrupt government spends hundreds of millions on a baseball stadium rather than funding law enforcement. I am outraged that the highlight of your story is the focus on police brutality and harrasment. I wish you'd ride with a Northside District officer and see what they are up against. With just a small squad officers patrolling 5 square miles of crime, crack, shoot outs, prostitution, drug dealers and strippers how do you expect them the police to be unnerved, jittery, scared, and hardcore. Wake up they are not policing Beverly hills or sitting back at your computer dreaming of how police are brutal and searching for the perfect derogatory adjective. Wake up.

None of your business
None of your business

How about allowing the Hells Angel some space for her Freedom of Speech since all of the decorated soldiers I have met stated to me, "I DID IT FOR YOU, JUDY!"

Durtysuth07
Durtysuth07

The police need to do some investigations then make some meaningful and effective arrest instead of harassing poor people for misdemeanors.

Motie77
Motie77 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I find the Miami New times very biased against cops. I agree that there is corruption everywhere, heck didn't we have a newsreporter who got busted the other day? What about that Doctor in Highlands County that treated kids, but instead of treating them, he gave them penal remedies. Or what about our great crooked attorney that sunk 1 Billion dollares out of investors? This last one affected the Miami Hurricanes football team, and its going to be years before there really any good. I don't agree with the cuting of the cargo and other high crimes unit, but you still need units like TNT to bust the low level stuff. The cops that are crooked, well, each one has there day. They all fall, but to outright blast a unit, man this place really is the banna republic.

TNTpigs
TNTpigs

All these nasty pigs trying to defend their "reputation" makes me sick. I know the TNT crew very well and they are a bunch of pigs; talk about corruption and arresting people for no reason. Why don't they document their operations on video? this would clear so many issues and cases would not go to trial. They lie in court, they lie in depos, they lie when they write these fake arrest forms. Every defense attorney in Miami Dade knows how they operate, and to say otherwise is stupid. They are scumbags, they are corrupted and they abuse their power. How about those TNT cops with FB pictures throwing gang signs, smoking blunts....bunch of nasty pigs

Iris Ramirez
Iris Ramirez

I give you credit Major Nanny for acknowledging the fact that Daniel Fernandez was a bad cop! Credit to TNT for not accepting him, because all knew he was trouble. I just wish he had been taken off the street a lot sooner than he was.

Disgusted!
Disgusted!

It's not that the public is afraid to fix problems, nor is it that they do not want to snitch. The reality is that, sadly, the public is having a more difficult time determining "Dope Boyz" from the police. Gone is the day when a young boy could look up to a policeman with respect. Now they look at at a policeman with suspicion Good? or Bad? Yes, there is that percentage of police officers that took the oath, wear the badge with pride and go out there and risk their lives on a daily basis. Sadly, these are the same cops that chose to look the other way when one of their "brothers" or "sisters" chose to tarnish that badge and walk the streets and think they have the right to intimidate and ruin the lives of others.

The Realest
The Realest like.author.displayName 1 Like

When the Dope Boyz.....run your block who do you call.......when they shoot infront of your homes and your families who do you call..................When you see your family members or friends strung out on drugs but dont' want to be a snitch...who do you call................everything criminal in the streets revolves around drugs......so don't hate what you need.......and to answer the question....who do you call.................."Its not the Boy Scouts".......its probably going to be me and my Brothers and Sisters................"T.NT.".........we fix the problems youre afraid of.............................This article is full of incorrect statements or facts......plz Author if you are really about telling the truth get your facts together......noboy in TNT was ever arrested fact one............check your facts........really check it.....alot of people read your newspapers even police officers and their families......(even children) and to have their fathers names printed in such a fashion with incorrect facts and allegations is truly hurtful.....think again about what you wrote.........its takes a Bigger Man to stand up and admit that certain allegations were incorrect in this article. ...........Well to all the people writing negative remarks I understand you may have had negative incidents with Officers in your past but dont look at this article as what TNT represents or what it says we are............

Blackpanther
Blackpanther

Really? I thought we're supposed to call Ghost Busters.

Stacey95962173
Stacey95962173

my classmate's step-mother made $12764 past week. she been working on the internet and moved in a $400300 home. All she did was get blessed and make use of the information reported on this website MakeCash10.comONLY

Stacey95962173
Stacey95962173

my classmate's step-mother made $12764 past week. she been working on the internet and moved in a $400300 home. All she did was get blessed and make use of the information reported on this website

soldier
soldier

Just what we need a bunch of pot heads in jail, i would rather have some real criminals in jail murders,robbers ,rapist and gang member.

allen murphy
allen murphy

lots of people,big corporations to the very rich and poor donate money to the fraternal order of police,this money is used to help the police,but if there is bad officers on the force then we as citizens must pressure their organisation to stop asking for money from us and tell them to do something about the miami dade police force,you see how it worked with the trayvon case,ok my people google the fraternal order of police get their number let them know all donations will stop unless something is done to stop this corrupt police of the TNT,we need good officers in miami we need good cops who will work with the people in the ignored areas of miami,change will never happen unless we act together.

allen murphy
allen murphy

people google fraternal order of police call them the more people call them the better for miami dade TNT will have to answere to the organization this organization collects money from the very rich and big corporations and the not so fortunate as well,citizens send in lots of money help the police pressure the organization,in turn the heat comes down on the cheif of police and the city manager of miami to remove the currupt cops and hire good officers who will work with the public,its obvious the current officers are not wanted in the community.google fraternal order of police call complain that we want better ,everybody must do this now

allen murphy
allen murphy

ok we know the bad,sent all your comments to the fraternal order of police,trust me they are the ones who call us for donations for the police agencys across the nation yes including miami,a big police organization that would not like this news about miamis tnt unit corruption thats www.fraternatorderofpolice.com but we need the good officers we need the good police officers,

Lola
Lola

This article is not only poorly written, it's misleading and inaccurate. The police don't care about harmless people smoking grass. Yes, some people were arrested for marijuana possession, but that's not why the police were there. These neighborhoods are infested with a shit load of crack cocaine and some heroin. Both of which destroy communities and lives. These people sell and use crack in front of children and innocent neighbors. It's disgusting. For those who've never seen the inside of these neighborhoods first hand (and it's safe to say that most New Times readers have not), you'd be more than dismayed by the misery that permeates these neighborhoods. How would you like to be paying a mortgage when your neighbors are selling and/or usiing crack and coke only feet away? These drugs destry the moral fiber of these communites. Women are selling themselves for a hit of crack. Many have lost custody of their children because of their crack addiction. These drugs don't just affect the drug user, they affect their families and community. There are far reaching moral and financial consequences. In many cases, their "low" is jail. They need this low to finally seek sobriety. Until you've seen the inner workings of these dope holes, you really have no idea. There are some people who can't afford to live anywhere else and shouldn't have to live with that crap in their neighborhood.

This was not a war on marijuana. Marijuana doesn't have the same affect on people and neighborhoods as crack. The targets of the investigation didn't have any crack on them at the time of the raid.. plain and simple. So.... Miami New Times readers, go live in those neighborhoods and get back to me... I'd love to hear your opinion once you're in the middle of that hot mess. I've worked with those people in those neighborhoods and I thank my lucky starts each day that I get to go home to a safe, quiet neighborhood many miles away.

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

This is the stupidest group of people I've ever worked with who are not legally retarded.

Natalie
Natalie

More like MPD "BLEACH" unit - Bullshit Law Enforcement Asshole Cops Handjob unit - stroking the taxpayers for the full load. Good riddance.

H3939p
H3939p

watch "hood life, volume 3" on you tube. that is exactly what TNT has to deal with.

Ray Castro
Ray Castro

a beefy cop tackles him, knocking down his 1-year-old, who screams in terror.

WOW I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT

Sheeeeet
Sheeeeet

Sitting under a tree "sharing a cigar."......are you fucking serious?

taxpayer
taxpayer

Francisco you forgot this:

Accuracy and standards for factual reportingReporters are expected to be as accurate as possible given the time allotted to story preparation and the space available, and to seek reliable sources.Events with a single eyewitness are reported with attribution. Events with two or more independent eyewitnesses may be reported as fact. Controversial facts are reported with attribution.Independent fact-checking by another employee of the publisher is desirableCorrections are published when errors are discoveredDefendants at trial are treated only as having "allegedly" committed crimes, until conviction, when their crimes are generally reported as fact (unless, that is, there is serious controversy about wrongful conviction).Opinion surveys and statistical information deserve special treatment to communicate in precise terms any conclusions, to contextualize the results, and to specify accuracy, including estimated error and methodological criticism or flaws.

Mainline Fl
Mainline Fl

Francisco there's so much blatant bullshit in this story that even you cannot keep up with it! You start off with 3 upstanding members of society sitting under a tree [sharing] a cigar. Right off the bat you're full of shit. Would love to know how much these citizens have costs us tax payers in the past decade in welfare, unemployment, food stamps, sect 8 housing etc. But enough of that. A couple of pages later their own mom, who appears to be the last gainfully employed individual in the entire family (the obvious blessings of 5 decades of lib/dem progress), freely admits they were busted for pot. Yet only one paragraph later we learn that one of the three was actually busted for cocaine possession. Gee Franky, what are the chances that this guy actually possessed coke bearing in mind that that is what he was actually busted for? BTW I'm not a gung-ho supporter of the police here. There are a lot of bad ones in MD. But if you cannot keep your own story straight on such relevant details perhaps you've eaten a shit sandwich of your own making.

occupytruth
occupytruth

Come on M.N.T. this sounds more like of a pro marijuana story. Yes, they should just legalize marijuana and that would be the end of this topic but for now its illegal. Your story fails to mention the thousands of shootings each year in these neighborhoods and hundreds shot and killed. Sometimes the cops have to resort to low end crimes in order to find other crimes. Note to self; if your stopped for just a joint, let the cops do their jobs chances are you wont end up in a patty wagon but start mouth'n off and giving them a hard time then you will take the ride. Cops want to catch the real criminals not deal with petty crimes instead of being ignorant and thinking every cop is a "Rodney King Cop" help them clean up YOUR neighborhoods. Stop and talk to the officers they are human not robots out to get you.

Mjy003
Mjy003

Corruption in Australia does not make this story any less-true, sorry about your country's misdeeds but I think you miss the point

Aussie Girl :)
Aussie Girl :)

Bigger issues at hand. I'm in Australia and marijuana is just as illegal. How about get over it? I seem to live my life perfectly fine without relying on illicit drugs. But seriously an article trying to demonize the police for excessive force? Read Australian history and THAT is police excessive force. Eg Aboriginal Stolen Genetation (google it), the armed robbery squad in Melbourne that used to randomly shoot suspects (ironic, huh?) and do yourself a favour and download Underbelly (any series proves the point) if you want to know about REAL corruption. Oh and let's not forget the police who impose western law on non English speaking traditionally living remote Aboriginal communities. And all the cowboy cops in the Northern Territory. AND YET I still trust the police, because those examples don't represent ALL coppers.

Wubs
Wubs

I agree with the statements made - this article is biased,  garbage "journalism" siding with and almost supporting criminal activity.  To start, the 3 individuals the author paints as innocent bystanders wrongfully ambushed by police officers enforcing the law (AKA doing their job) are all habitual offenders with criminal records... Extensive criminal records ranging from multiple drug possession charges, to grand theft, to domestic violence. No violent pasts? Wrong again - all 3 have battery charges, including resisting arrest and battery on officers. Help yourselves to their public criminal records on the Miami-Dade Clerk Public Criminal Records website . It is obvious that this house was known for drug use/activity, so who's to say an arrest such as this doesn't stem from a concerned, fed up neighbor calling in a complaint for drug use and criminal behavior in their neighborhood? Are we as a society supposed to let drug users run rampant and engage in criminal behavior while turning a blind eye?  The author is a blatant proponent of marijuana use, and while marijuana is nowadays seen as a lesser threat than other substances on the street, it is still illegal making those who posses it guilty of breaking the law, whether at home or in public.  I find it entertaining that the author attempts to paint a picture of poor, innocent  Mr. Level who now can't get a job b/c of his drug history. He didn't care so much when he was puffing on a joint... a person who smokes marijuana is clearly not seeking employment, at least not traditional employment which requires drug testing. Nice try. I guarantee his unemployment has lead him to a hard life of sitting on his rear, happily collecting WIC and Medicaid for his children, along with cash assistance to supply his habit, which all comes from our tax dollars. Talk to me about wasted tax dollars now...

State all facts before you paint such a hideous picture, Mr. Alvarado. Why don't you mention the good  TNT has accomplished in between your accusations of them terrorizing neighborhoods? How these marijuana arrests you deem so insignificant and petty have lead to the recovery of fugitives, guns,  pounds of marijuana and massive amounts of cocaine, crack, etc being taken off the streets? If you were to look at those stats you would put your foot in your mouth. How about mentioning the commendations and positive recognition for their hard work? Why don't you shed some light on that? Talk about the habitual, violent offenders TNT has put behind bars to protect innocent people (like you and your family, I presume) instead of trashing them. Must be nice to know you're coming home after a long day of writing in a nice coffee shop while these guys go out there and deal with the scum of the earth day in and day out. How about you go on a ride along with them and then talk. I doubt you have the testicles to do that. 

Yes, there are some bad apples and their behavior is inexcusable, but it's unfair to stack them all in the same pile.  It's easy for everyone on here to sit back and call police officers pigs and bacon and all that nonsense, but when the crap hits the fan it's YOU calling THEM for help. When someone breaks into your house or car or robs your mom or God forbid assaults your daughters, it is them you call to protect you and help you.

Acwplayer
Acwplayer

So, every "victim" you have described here was actually breaking the law. This article is a weak attempt by a liberal rag to make a case for legalizing drugs. If you don't like the laws, try to get them changed. That is the beauty of this Country. I'm glad the police are arresting criminals.

Greenlaker
Greenlaker

I love it when cops say "don't like it, change the law" then they use tax payers money and department resources to combat the political activism to do just that. Just have a look at Marc Emery if you don't believe me.

Once they know you're attempting to actually get the law changed, you start getting pulled over more, you get all kinds of code inspectors coming out to visit any property your own, they tap your phones and follow you and your family. Suddenly, the same people who tell you to change the law start issuing public statements against you and your attempts. Law enforcement needs to stay out of politics if they want us to believe they are impartial.

They say change the law but not because they care about the laws on the books. They enjoy beating people up and being able to point their fingers and say "look at the bad guys." If orange juice was outlawed tomorrow, there would be 1000 cops all looking to kick the ass of every "juice head" they could find.

Don't like it? Change the law. Try to change the law and we will do everything in our power to fuck you over.

espn
espn

Keep smoking weed, Greenlaker. Your paranoia is just jumping at me off the computer screen. Phonetapping, code inspectors, more traffic stops...give me a break.

JOE
JOE

Its funny how they speak of these nice guys just hanging out doing nothing wrong right...WRONG they were smoking weed illegal!! in front of kids right ... why would you even right an article about this what a waste of time. Criminals will always talk bad about the police because the police put them in jail for doing the wrong thing!!! Awesome job New times >> lets report on more important thing instead of giving these loser criminals the time of day. trust me if you do the right thing like the rest of us law abiding citizes you wont have a unit like TNT on your door steps. I dont smoke weed in my lawn nor do i sell crack therefor TNT wont be at my house anytime soon. and no im not a cop just someone who thinks right is right and wrong is wrong.

Greenlaker
Greenlaker

In my experience the dangers of marijuana stem from the laws regarding it, not from its use.

I'm not a criminal but I don't trust the police because of all the criminal shit I've seen them do.

Wubs
Wubs

I agree with the statements made above - this article is biased,  garbage "journalism" siding with and almost supporting criminal activity.  To start, the 3 individuals the author paints as innocent bystanders wrongfully ambushed by police officers enforcing the law (AKA doing their job) are all habitual offenders with criminal records... Extensive criminal records ranging from multiple drug possession charges, to grand theft, to domestic violence. No violent pasts? Wrong again - all 3 have battery charges, including resisting arrest and battery on officers. Help yourselves to their public criminal records at http://www2.miami-dadeclerk.co... . It is obvious that this house was known for drug use/activity, so who's to say an arrest such as this doesn't stem from a concerned, fed up neighbor calling in a complaint for drug use and criminal behavior in their neighborhood? Are we as a society supposed to let drug users run rampant and engage in criminal behavior while turning a blind eye?  It seems to me the author is a proponent of marijuana use, and while marijuana is nowadays seen as a lesser threat than other substances on the street, it is still illegal making those who posses it guilty of breaking the law (home or in public.) While we're on the subject, I find it entertaining that the author attempts to paint a picture of poor, innocent  Mr. Level who now can't get a job b/c of his drug history. He didn't care so much when he was puffing on a joint... a person who smokes marijuana is clearly not seeking employment, at least not traditional employment which requires drug testing. Nice try. I guarantee his unemployment has lead him to a hard life of happily collecting WIC and Medicaid for his children, along with cash assistance to supply his habit, which all comes from our tax dollars - so those of you complaining about wasting tax payers' money on police doing their jobs can Cry me a river!

State all facts before you paint such a hideous picture, Mr. Alvarado. Why don't you mention the good  TNT has accomplished in between your accusations of them terrorizing neighborhoods? How these marijuana arrests you deem so insignificant and petty have lead to the recovery of fugitives, guns,  pounds of marijuana and massive amounts of cocaine, crack, etc being taken off the streets? How about mentioning the commendations and positive recognition for their hard work? Why don't you shed some light on that? Talk about the habitual, violent offenders TNT has put behind bars to protect innocent people (like you and your family, I presume) instead of talking about how wrong it is to give gifts to kids who may have not had a gift on Christmas if not for those horrible officers you freely criticize and defame in your article. Shame on you. 

Yes, there are some bad apples and their behavior is inexcusable, but it's unfair to stack them all in the same pile.  It's easy for everyone on here to sit back and call police officers pigs and bacon and all that jazz, but when the crap hits the fan it's YOU calling THEM for help. When someone breaks into your house or car or robs your mom or God forbid assaults your daughters, it is them you call to protect you and help you. 

Anthony
Anthony

Wow, what a crazy article. I don't know the facts behind the case mentioned in this article but I have had a couple of run in with TNT over the years. My family owns a business in Opa-locka and has for 35 years. Unfortunately the neighborhood where we are located has become drug and crime infestide. I have always been happy to see the police in the neighborhood taking enforcement action against these thugs, especially TNT. The article says they wear gray uniforms but in my neighborhood they wear brown. I haven't seen them in gray.

Anyway, back to my run ins with them. On 2 occasions I have been stopped leaving my business which forces me to drive through a pretty nasty drug area. The TNT officers that stopped me advised me that they were conducting an investigation. I was polite and cooperated fully with the officers. After about 10 min or so they said it was ok and I was free to go. Yes an inconvence but I am happy they were doing there job. The second time a Sergeant responded and even apologized for the mistake another officer had actually stopped the vehicle they were looking for on another block.

Overall as a business owner I'm glad to see them. We have a sever Crack problem here and TNT takes care of business. But if it was people smoking weed I would want them arrested too. People love to think weed is ok but it's still illegal. Until its not GO GET THEM TNT!

Greenlaker
Greenlaker

So the second weed is not illegal you suddenly have no problem with it?

I guess Rosa Parks deserved to be arrested because she broke the law back before we let "the colored" sit up in the front of the bus?

Lou
Lou

Drugwar is an epic failure it is time to end this abuse of power nationwide! Its just not working and it is insane to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results!

Tina
Tina

Its funny how fake reporters create a fake story and call it jounalism lying in their story

Realreporter
Realreporter

Seek Truth andReport ItJournalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should: — Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.— Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.— Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.— Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.— Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.— Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.— Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.— Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story— Never plagiarize.— Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.— Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.— Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.— Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.________________________________________Minimize HarmEthical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.

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Journalists should:— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.— Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.________________________________________The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. The present version of the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society's members.

Charles___Darwin
Charles___Darwin

MDPD has been doing a good job . The "low level criminals" that this article glorifies are the ones that degrade the quality of life in these neighborhoods.

Would open dope dealing and drug using be allowed in Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay,etc? So why should it be allowed in the poorer neighborhoods. The law-abiding citizens of the poorer neighborhoods deserve to live in a crime-free environment also.

Pro police
Pro police

I still can't believe that any newspaper would publish this trash. The writer of this article is obviously poorly informed and a skilled LIAR. The members of TNT work the most dangerous streets in Miami-Dade county everyday. They deal with muderers, rapist, robbers, and a plethora of violent criminals daily, all of which buy or sell narcotics. They do what most(especially the writer of this article) are too scared to do. It's easy to hide behind a bunch of lies in an article just like the coward you are, but these MDPD officers risk their necks daily in order to make all these complainers feel safe at night and now they are doing it for about 20% less pay. You should be grateful that unit such as TNT exist, because that's one more shield between criminal scumbags and your nicely manicured backyard.

SOBE50
SOBE50

LIBERTY CITY'S TRUST ?

Liberty City residents never had any TRUST in the MIAMI POLICE ...

You can't lose what you never had ...

A little too much dramatic license Francisco ...

Besides one could ask ... What's new ? ... these actions play out everyday in Liberty City

Guess you must be working for a Pulitzer ...

sense is not common
sense is not common

Obviously if grandma's angels were arrested for cocaine possession and marijuana they weren't smoking black and milds!!! It wasn't four people arrested for one joint if there was a lso cocaine. Where do we draw the line? It's just weed? It's just cocaine? It's just possession of a firearm? It's just a drive-by shooting?

Public pretender
Public pretender

Well I've worked with the PD office as well as defense attorneys and your officers are so desperate they ghve to break the law to get cases filled in court by procecutor shopping ... Det Breso and his group are using Ci and telling the prosecutors that they get anonymous tips so as not to have the scrutiny or validity of their cases reviewed So as ussual is the juice worth the squeeze if you have to lie cheat and steal to get your job done Rebut that Major

Ray
Ray

TNT is how you walk back to the dealer's house and his dealer's house etc. In 70 years of narcotics enforcement the only more effective methods are electronic surveillance and U/Cs and long term physical surveillance. Both more expensive and employed past the 1/4 key level.

seep
seep

There is yet one more effective method: legalization. That is the reason we don't have alcohol smuggling gangs any more.

Wubs
Wubs

I agree with the statements made above - this article is biased,  garbage "journalism" siding with and almost supporting criminal activity.  To start, the 3 individuals the author paints as innocent bystanders wrongfully ambushed by police officers enforcing the law (AKA doing their job) are all habitual offenders with criminal records... Extensive criminal records ranging from multiple drug possession charges, to grand theft, to domestic violence. No violent pasts? Wrong again - all 3 have battery charges, including resisting arrest and battery on officers. Help yourselves to their public criminal records at http://www2.miami-dadeclerk.co... . It is obvious that this house was known for drug use/activity, so who's to say an arrest such as this doesn't stem from a concerned, fed up neighbor calling in a complaint for drug use and criminal behavior in their neighborhood? Are we as a society supposed to let drug users run rampant and engage in criminal behavior while turning a blind eye?  It seems to me the author is a proponent of marijuana use, and while marijuana is nowadays seen as a lesser threat than other substances on the street, it is still illegal making those who posses it guilty of breaking the law (home or in public.) While we're on the subject, I find it entertaining that the author attempts to paint a picture of poor, innocent  Mr. Level who now can't get a job b/c of his drug history. He didn't care so much when he was puffing on a joint... a person who smokes marijuana is clearly not seeking employment, at least not traditional employment which requires drug testing. Nice try. I guarantee his unemployment has lead him to a hard life of happily collecting WIC and Medicaid for his children, along with cash assistance to supply his habit, which all comes from our tax dollars. Cry me a river!

State all facts before you paint such a hideous picture, Mr. Alvarado. Why don't you mention the good  TNT has accomplished in between your accusations of them terrorizing neighborhoods? How these marijuana arrests you deem so insignificant and petty have lead to the recovery of fugitives, guns,  pounds of marijuana and massive amounts of cocaine, crack, etc being taken off the streets? How about mentioning the commendations and positive recognition for their hard work? Why don't you shed some light on that? Talk about the habitual, violent offenders TNT has put behind bars to protect innocent people (like you and your family, I presume) instead of talking about how wrong it is to give gifts to kids who may have not had a gift on Christmas if not for those horrible officers you freely criticize and defame in your article. Shame on you. 

Yes, there are some bad apples and their behavior is inexcusable, but it's unfair to stack them all in the same pile.  It's easy for everyone on here to sit back and call police officers pigs and bacon and all that jazz, but when the crap hits the fan it's YOU calling THEM for help. When someone breaks into your house or car or robs your mom or God forbid assaults your daughters, it is them you call to protect you and help you. 

10-8
10-8

This is an awful, biased attempt at journalism. Anyone with an understanding of the 4th Amendment knows that in order to enter a structure and arrest individuals, you need either probable cause or a search warrant. That said, when TNT entered Grandma Level's home to arrest her angels, they were obviously operating off of previous intelligence. Your overall criticism of the war on drugs is that offenders get out of jail quickly. While that is true, that is not an indictment of the Miami Dade Police Department, but instead of our judicial system. The entirety of your article has nothing to do with the inadequacies of MDPD. Law enforcement is given to task of ENFORCING THE FLORIDA STATUTES. TNT did that. Whatever happens beyond that is up to the State Attorney.

I can't believe the New Times published such trash. If you disagree with our nation's drug laws, so be it. To indict the legitimate and proactive activities of MDPD for the sake of pushing your ideological agenda is unprofessional and shameful.

Bebep
Bebep

Yup, taking people off the streets for a couple hours for smoking a joint.

I would like my taxes back.

Wubs
Wubs

I want my taxes back - from their Medicaid, cash assistance and WIC they are all collecting bc they can't get job bc they choose to smoke weed and live a lazy shameless lifestyle which we are paying for. I bet you won't want your taxes back when your neighbors are being loud/smoking pot/acting crazy in your neighborhood and you're the one calling the cops to fix the problem

Wubs
Wubs

Congratualtions on being a pot smoker and working for a place that isn't drug testing you randomly and probably didn't test you to hire you. At least you're working so no hate at all.The dumbass in the article isn't too concerned about getting a job if he's sitting around puffing on a joint, what pisses me off is the picture the author tries to paint like all odds are now against him b/c of this drug charge. No one made him smoke, he's not a victim, he made a choice and he's suffering consequences. Maybe he should apply where you work...

To clarify about people acting crazy - Did you know that a lot of the intel received by MDPD's TNT unit and other units that operate like this come from Crimestopper's tipline? People call in and report suspicious drug activity, ruckus, etc from a certain location, the officers then follow through on the tips and start their investigation. I'm not saying smoking pot makes you crazy, I'm saying a neighbor may have called it in b/c they are sick of the pot smoking, drinking, loudness, whatever it is and that's why PO's go out and do what they have to do. If you have little ones and your neighbors were out selling dope or doing drugs and your kid was outside playing I don't think you would want them to be out there around all that mess, so then TNT would be the ones to come to your neighborhood and try to put a stop to that activity after you file a complaint. It may just be smoking a joint but with that come more problems that neighrbors may not want - guns, more drugs, etc. Plus, as I said, a petty arrest for a joint may lead to the recovery of a gun, a fugitive, etc.

Bebep
Bebep

I smoke every day and have a full time job, so lets not start generalizing stupid shit here.

If I call the cops because my neighbors are smoking pot and acting crazy (are you still watching Reefer Madness propaganda or something?) they will not be sending a task force designed to take down drug trafficking. They will send a regular police officer, that I'm happy to pay for with my taxes.

What I'm not happy to pay for is a law enforcement team padding numbers and pretending to be stopping crime when all they did was put a bunch of people in jail for a couple of hours for smoking a joint.

 
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