Bad Surfside cop Woodward Brooks finally gets busted
Woodward Brooks finally lost his badge for his bad cop behavior. This past February 3, the 46-year-old lawman was kicked off the Surfside Police force following his arrest on three felony counts of official misconduct, grand theft, and filing a fraudulent insurance claim. This is the second time the tiny beachfront town has cut ties with Brooks (who declined to comment) over allegations he abused his authority.
In 2006, a year after he joined the Surfside PD, Miami-Dade Police public corruption detectives investigated an allegation that Brooks and another cop had hatched a plot to plant cocaine on a town activist and falsely arrest Commissioner Howard Weinberg for driving under the influence of alcohol. The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office closed the probe, citing insufficient evidence to prove a crime had been committed. But an internal administrative investigation by Surfside concluded Brooks had failed to report the alleged crime to his superiors, and he was fired.
In an email, Surfside Police Chief David Allen says the town was forced to rehire Brooks in 2007 when an arbitrator ruled he was wrongfully terminated. So much for second chances.
Last July 13, Brooks allegedly responded to the scene of a three-car collision at the intersection of Collins Avenue and 90th Street. He wrote an accident report, which the drivers and a passenger used to file an insurance claim for $23,762.
Turns out the crash was staged, according to Brooks's arrest affidavit. A witness told investigators from the fraud division of the state's department of financial services that Brooks agreed to write the report for the fake insurance claim. Detectives also tape-recorded a conversation in which Brooks "acknowledged his involvement in creating the fictitious crash report." This past October 19, in a sworn statement, Brooks admitted to doctoring two accident reports.
Chief Allen says he wasn't surprised Brooks got into trouble again: "It was only a matter of time."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- A Cuban-American Writer Grapples With New U.S. Policy, Family Legacy of Pain
- Marco Rubio on Cecil the Lion: "But What About Abortion?"
- Dolphins Bring Back Old Logo and Throwback Uniforms for One Game