Miguel Exposito Survives Commission Vote, Violent Reality Show Clip

When Riptide broke the news last week that a violent reality show clip filmed inside the Miami Police Department was making the rounds on YouTube, we knew the shots of cops chomping cigars and calling themselves "hunters" wouldn't help Miguel Exposito in his bid to keep his job as chief.

Apparently, Commissioner Richard Dunn agreed. Dunn screened the clip -- which was pulled from our site after we received a cease-and-desist letter last week -- at the City Commission meeting last night. It wasn't enough to can Expo, though; the chief survived a tense two-hour debate.

As we reported, the clip for a reality show called "Miami's Finest: Special Operations Section" showed Miami cops acting tough and featured a damaging quote from Exposito himself appearing to describe his officers as "predators."

Considering the department has shot and killed six black men in Overtown, Liberty City, and Little Haiti since last summer, the quote and the tone of the promo didn't sit well with some black leaders.

We pulled the clip after lawyers for the production company sent us a letter calling it "unauthorized and unlicensed," but apparently Dunn made himself a copy first.

After showing the clip, Dunn called for a vote of no-confidence. First, Exposito showed his own videos to the chamber: News clips of violence in black neighborhoods and interviews with Regalado and Dunn supporting the chief.

Exposito also suggested that Regalado's son, Tommy, had created the reality show promo purposely to damage the department. Regalado admitted his son had connected the producers and the department but ridiculed the idea that he was behind the clip.

`He has nothing to do with that film,'' Regalado told the Herald. ``One thing is attacking me, another is attacking my son, and that's not right.''

Either way, Dunn's no confidence vote failed. The effort was largely symbolic anyway. Only new City Manager Tony Crapp Jr. has the power to fire the chief -- and he didn't utter a word during last night's meeting.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink