More Bad News for Chief Timoney
Another Bad Week for Timoney
Filed under: News
It's been a bad week for Police Chief John Timoney. On Thursday the county's ethics commission found he should have disclosed his free use of a Lexus SUV as a gift. The same day, the AFL-CIO union and the Alliance of Retired Americans slapped Timoney with a lawsuit over the 2003 FTAA protests.
Timoney is named personally in the suit, along with a handful of other police brass and a few cities that sent officers to "protect" Miami's streets during the trade talks. Fred Frost, president of the South Florida AFL-CIO, said that protesters were "suppressed, intimidated, and illegally searched" while attempting to assemble peacefully. The lawsuit is similar to several others filed against the city — some of which have already been settled — except this one is asking a court to hold Timoney personally liable.
Phyllis Lapidus, a retired 75-year-old teacher from New York City, was one of the many union marchers that day who was adamant the suit be filed. Lapidus and a busload of other retirees had to walk for an hour in the sun in an attempt to get to the planned rally at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater. As police in riot gear directed people down one street after another, Lapidus was shocked at what she saw. "I had never before seen a tank with machine guns aimed at us," she says. "I thought, This couldn't be the United States I grew up in. I grew up in a country that was democratic." She adds, "At least we weren't tear-gassed."
The suit reveals how the Miami Police, led by Timoney, categorized and targeted certain protest groups. According to AFL-CIO representatives who met with cops 20 times before the march, the police "divided the expected FTAA demonstrators into three groups." One group was the "green" group (nonviolent protestors, including union groups), the "yellow" group (nonviolent fringe elements), and the "red" group (anti-government, antiestablishment protestors). Deborah Dion, an AFL-CIO representative from South Florida who was detained at gunpoint, put it this way: "If this is how police treated the unions in the green groups — the good guys — how were they respecting everyone else?"
Dion, the union, and a dozen others gathered at the Miami Police Station to announce the suit last week. During the press conference, a guy in a gray Toyota drove by. "Free speech sucks!" he yelled, twice.
Must have been a friend of Timoney's. — Tamara Lush
Jimenez in the Dog-hiz-ouse
Filed under: Flotsam
Marcos Daniel Jimenez, the former South Florida U.S. Attorney who was part of President George W. Bush's 2000 re-election recount legal team, can't seem to get out of his ex-wife Michelle's doghouse.
According to documents filed in Miami-Dade County family court this past July, her lawyer, Nathalie Lemos, accused Jimenez of not paying $4,520 for his share of after-school and medical expenses for their three daughters. Then, on October 29, Judge Judith Kreeger nixed Jimenez's request to skip out on a deposition to ask him why he hadn't paid her; 10 days later, he ponied up the money.
Jimenez and his attorney, Dori Foster Morales, did not return phone calls seeking comment. "Everything has been settled," Lemos says. For the time being.
Since their December 2004 split, Jimenez and his ex have launched character assassination campaigns against each other, according to their divorce file. In a February 21 memo to Kreeger, Michelle Jimenez claims Marcos said "her Christian friends are terrorists and no different from the people who fly planes into buildings." He accuses her of alienating their daughters from him and says she's on "medication, including antidepressants for panic attacks and anxiety."
After resigning in 2005 as the U.S. Attorney overseeing Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce, and Key West, Jimenez has found prominent but controversial clients as a private litigator. He represented conservative media pundit Ann Coulter when she was accused of violating Florida election laws by voting in the wrong precinct during a Palm Beach Town Council election in 2006. She was cleared by the Palm Beach County Sheriff earlier this year.
Jimenez is also the attorney for the United Arab Emirates, a defendant in a class-action federal lawsuit seeking damages for thousands of children who were taken from their homes in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, and Mauritania and forced to become camel jockeys. — Francisco Alvarado
The Bicycle Thief
Filed under: Bike Blog
Tyler Bonner is usually careful with his bike, a blue lightweight Eighties fixed-gear racer he takes everywhere. But on a recent afternoon, the 23-year-old Miamian allowed his vigilance to lapse. He was talking on his cell phone, and had just unlocked his bike from a stop sign at Miami Dade College's Wolfson campus when the call dropped. Bonnen wandered off the noisy street and into a building to sort things out. When he emerged a few minutes later, the bike was gone.
"My first thought was like, 'Tyler, you fucking asshole!'" Bonner recalls. "It was totally disgust and self-loathing. But I decided to take all that energy and turn it into ... a considerable amount of aggression toward the person that stole my bike."
Bonner leapt into action. He ran back inside, borrowed a bike, and then began scouring downtown Miami. "Basically I was doing larger and larger concentric circles, for like 45 minutes," he explains, "sprinting on my bike, getting madder and madder and madder and madder."
His circles had enlarged all the way to Overtown when he saw it. "I'm going down NW 14th Street and I see, two blocks down, a back wheel and a reflector that look like mine. You know your bike. So I got myself really hyped up," he explains, "and said to myself, This guy is going to be six foot seven, pure muscle, and I've got one chance to scare the shit out of him."
Bonner sprinted up behind the man and screamed, "Just get the fuck off the bike!" The bicycle thief "kind of wobbled," Bonner says, "and then he backs up and goes, 'Hey, don't hit me.'"
And then the man, who was Bonner's height and in his midthirties, made him an offer: "He says, 'Hey, hey, I'll ride it back with you.'" Bonner hesitated and then accepted. They chatted the whole way back, Bonner says. "By the time we got back, we had exchanged names. He said, 'I'm not a bad guy; I just saw a bike and I just took it.'
"He was a funny guy," Bonner reflects. "He was trying to diffuse the situation with laughter. He did a pretty good job." — Isaiah Thompson