Michael Veski, Cop Allegedly Caught with Beer in Cruiser, Suspended; UPDATE: Second Cop Suspended Over Crazy Speeding Video
In a statement released today, new Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez identified Michael Veski as the officer under investigation for drinking a beer in a police car, and said that the officer has now been relieved of duty.
Random Pixels also reports that a second officer, Eric Dominguez, has been suspended over a video that allegedly shows him speeding in a cruiser.
Update: Herald reporter David Smiley has tweeted a video that he says is of Dominguez flying at dangerous speeds over the sand in South Beach -- even getting airborne for a moment. Click through for video.
Earlier post: Details of the incident are still sketchy. Veski was apparently riding shotgun in a Miami Beach cop car when it nearly collided with a postal inspector's vehicle over the weekend. Veski had apparently let a civilian friend drive the car. After the crash the officer allegedly stepped out while holding an open beer.
"As I committed at the onset of this investigation, a full and thorough review of this incident is underway, and if allegations are found to be substantiated, I will take swift and decisive action to address the actions of this office," said Martinez in his statement. "Part of my charge as the new Chief of Police is to reform this department and to ensure greater accountability of our officers. I believe this is the first step in that process. I will not tolerate any behavior that undermines the confidence and public trust in our officers."
Veski was taken off duty on Thursday, and will remain so until the investigation is complete.
Update: Random Pixels reports that Martinez has suspended another Beach cop over another embarrassing allegation.
The site's sources say that Officer Eric Dominguez has been relieved of duty after a video surfaced of him speeding in a police cruiser; Martinez didn't address Dominguez's suspension in his statement today. Riptide has left a message with a department spokesman to ask about Dominguez's status, but haven't heard back yet.
If Pixel's source is right, it's not Dominguez's first brush with trouble. He featured in New Times feature story on troubled officers in the Beach PD, thanks to a 2003 case when he was speeding and weaving through traffic in his cruiser before causing an accident that seriously wounded four motorcycle riders.
Here's what one of the riders, Osvaldo Dalama, told New Times about Dominguez:
"Dominguez tried to tell the highway patrol he was on duty, but my friend says, 'Quit bullshitting us. I'm a cop too. You had no lights on, no jurisdiction -- you were just driving like a maniac,'" Dalama says. "It's a good thing [Gomez] was there or I'm sure Dominguez would have lied his way out of it."
The city paid out undisclosed settlements to the bikers after the accident.