Mark down January 1, 2011 as the moment when the incendiary fight over leadership at the Miami Police Department hit the ski ramp at full speed, jumped the Fonz and his shark, and landed squarely in a strange land populated by Kardashians, Octomoms, and Sarah Palin.
It all started on New Year's Eve, when an undercover Miami SWAT team shot and killed a 27-year-old in Overtown — the sixth black man killed by MPD since last summer.
In the week since, Chief Miguel Exposito has accused Mayor Tomás Regalado of interfering with his investigations, Regalado has claimed Exposito ordered cops to tail him, and Exposito has retaliated by asking the FBI to investigate the mayor.
But what's a real Miami scandal without some reality TV?
In the midst of all this in-fighting, New Times discovered a promo for a new reality show filmed inside MPD that features violent quotes from the chief and his troops.
Exposito has been explicitly fighting for his job since at least mid-December, when Regalado refused to back him, telling the Miami Herald, "It's all on Exposito."
In addition to the raft of deadly shootings — including two by a cop later suspended over charges he tried to sell 100,000 stolen Bluetooth headsets — Exposito has dealt with a botched anti-corruption probe, and videos showing officers beating partiers on Halloween and police failing to stop ravers running wild on Biscayne Boulevard.
Now comes his latest video embarrassment: the promo — posted to YouTube in late December — for a show called "Miami's Finest: Special Operations Section." (The clip was removed after we reposted it on our blog.)
In the opening moments, over ominous music, an unnamed cop explains that: "We hunt. That's what I like. I like to hunt."
Three minutes later, after a thugged-out Akon track, Exposito himself says, "I wanted to have something where our guys were going out there proactively... like predators."
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Exposito didn't respond to New Times's questions about the show, and to be fair to the chief, a fishy looking jump-cut in the middle of his quote might have changed its meaning.
Nonetheless, some black leaders aren't amused. "It's not right for the chief to call his officers 'predators,'" says Reverend Jerome Starling.
It's not clear when the show will air, or if a network has picked it up. Jason Hervey, a former Wonder Years child star who coproduced the show, declined to talk about it. His coproducer is Eric Bischoff, a former WCW wrestling announcer and — incidentally — author of a book called Controversy Creates Cash.
Ready to write that memoir, Exposito?