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February 3, 2010
More than 100 Miami Beach Police officers and members of the local Fraternal Order of Police chapter packed into the city commission chambers this afternoon with a simple -- if fiery -- message.
The Beach is on its own for security at private Super Bowl events this week. As a protest, Miami Beach cops won't be taking any off-duty jobs.
"We will always answer any mandatory calls. But let us tell you today what we will not do," thundered Mark Richard, the FOP's attorney. "We will not come to work any details or do any voluntary work between now and the Super Bowl. We will not be there!"
The police are fighting tooth and nail the city's efforts to force them to help make up a $25 million budget hole. In the video above, Kenneth MacLeod, an officer shot on duty in 1992, makes an emotional demand.
"I wake up in daily pain. I continue to work for the city because I love my work and love my city, as do all these people," MacLeod says. "We deserve what we have, and we deserve to have it unchanged."
The commission cleared the chamber and went into an executive session after Richard spoke to discuss the police union's contract.
But not before Richard leveled one more charge at the police department's brass. Chief Carlos Noriega, Richard said, routinely forces officers to work mandatory overtime as security at private clubs and restaurants.
"That's an indictment!" Richard shouted. "That is an indictment!"
Riptide called Richard to ask if he had any proof to back up his claims. Noriega is out of town, says Det. Juan Sanchez, a Miami Beach Police Department spokesman, but later this afternoon will release a statement addressing Richard's accusations.
We'll update this post when we hear from the chief.
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