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Five Worst Miami Cops of the Year: Rape Porn, Drunk Driving and A Horrible Chief

As always, we'll start Riptide's annual tradition of counting down our list of the year's worst cops with a caveat: being a cop in the 305 is one of the toughest law enforcement gigs in the country and despite the weekly headlines here, most Dade cops do good work. As always, we salute them for it.

Buuuuut -- boy there were some terrible cops this year, from rape-porn producers to a sophomoric war between two local forces to America's worst chief. Click through for our five worst Miami cops of 2011:


5. Miami Officer Thomas Vokaty
Back in October, a Miami cop named Fausto Lopez (who just missed this list himself) was caught blazing down the highway at 120 mph with no lights on by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. When video of the trooper arresting the incredulous Lopez went viral, a juvenile war between the two forces erupted, Super Troopers-style, with Internet sniping, gallons of human shit dumped on an FHP car and -- the nadir of the fight -- Vokaty randomly pulling over an FHP trooper in revenge way out of his jurisdiction.

Sadly for Vokaty, the trooper he picked to pull over happened to be the brother of Miami's Internal Affairs chief. Vokaty was promptly disciplined, and the fight seems to have dissipated. In honor of Vokaty's sheer idiocy, let's revisit the video that started it all:



4. Miami-Dade Officer Fernando Villa

Just after evening rush hour last month, cops in West Kendall made a startling discovery: A Miami-Dade police cruiser idling at an intersection, its driver seemingly unconscious. Inside sat Fernando Villa -- an off duty cop wearing a T-shirt and shorts and slumped over the wheel, apparently passed out drunk.


That's bad enough -- and so is the fact that his fellow cops drove Villa home without slapping him with a DUI -- but when Riptide went digging in the 32-year-old's file, we found Villa's story was much worse: he'd previously been accused of strangling his sister and wrongfully beating up several suspects -- including one young man with Down Syndrome.


​3. Former Miami Chief Miguel Exposito
After landing No. 2 on our list last year, Miami's portly chief had a hard task cut out for him to repeat in 2011 -- and boy did he exceed even our own cynical expectations. In this past year, his force ended up shooting to death seven suspects in seven months -- a streak exacerbated in January when reality TV footage shot inside the department leaked, showing Exposito calling his cops "predators."

Life at the MPD only got worse from there. Exposito sparked an absurd war with Mayor Tomas Regalado, reporting him repeatedly to the FBI, accusing him of bribery and culminating in a Wild West-style showdown in a city park with TV cameras rolling. Thankfully, Expo was finally canned by the City Commission.

2. Former Miami Beach Officer Lavont Flanders
Here's all you need to know about Flanders' year: He was arrested in August and charged with duping young women into coming to Miami Gardens for "modeling shoots," then drugging them, raping them on film, and selling the rape porn videos to stores around the area.

The only reason Flanders, who was convicted in federal court last month, didn't top this list is because at the time of his arrest he was already mercifully done protecting and serving, having left the Miami Beach force a few years before the arrest.

1. Miami Beach Officer Derick Kuilan
A bad cop photo is worth a million bad cop blogs, and Kuilan and his partner, Rolando Gutierrez, took the ultimate dirty cop photo in July. The story, even six months later, still sounds too insane to be true: While on duty on Fourth of July weekend, in uniform, Kuilan and Gutierrez popped into the Clevelander to drink with a partying group of women. Kuilan then offered one special lady a tipsy ride on his ATV, and proceeded to nearly kill two innocent bystanders lying on the darkened beach.

Kuilan and Gutierrez were both fired, a chain of supervisors were disciplined and Beach Chief Carlos Noriega retired in disgrace -- after a year that also saw his force blast a hundred rounds into a Memorial Beach Weekend partier, wounding bystanders in the process and then clumsily trying to confiscate video of the killing. Kuilan was the joyriding cherry atop a disastrous year for MBPD. And here's the photo everyone will remember from this year in South Florida police work:

Gutierrez, left, and Kuilan partying it up before the latter crashed his ATV.
Gutierrez, left, and Kuilan partying it up before the latter crashed his ATV.
via Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Tim Elfrink writes about crime, politics and South Florida insanity; follow him @timelfrinkmia.


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