In front of a dozen television cameras and a packed room of reporters, Police Chief Miguel Exposito blasted Mayor Tomas Regalado this afternoon over Regaldo's claims that he was being tailed by police officers. Exposito also defended his department's conduct in the six recent fatal police shootings that have stirred strong criticism of his leadership, and announced that he's forwarded complaints about Regalado to the FBI.
"It's not our policy to conduct surveillance on politicians," Exposito said. "I will not allow any politician to interfere with the operations of our police department."
Regalado told the Herald yesterday that he'd been told by "credible" sources inside the department that he was being tailed, and said that he'd noted strange cars following him of late.
Exposito ridiculed the idea and noted that the full-time police investigator assigned to protect Regalado would surely have noticed surveillance and reported it to the mayor.
What's more, the chief said he'd sent the FBI a package of information about Regalado's alleged interference with a police operation to remove illegal gambling machines from businesses around Miami. He said he has asked the feds to open a full investigation.
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Exposito also said his department didn't deserve criticism over the shootings, which have led to calls from black community leaders for his resignation.
"For those who believe it's acceptable to roam our streets brandishing firearms like the Old West, I'll tell you now it's not acceptable," he said.