May 4, 2014

Watching the Detectives - Part 1

I called Miami-Dade Homicide to contact Will Sanchez, the detective's name I had been given by the FDLE representative. I was transferred to his voicemail. I left the first of a half dozen messages saying I had information in the Rainey slaying. I managed to speak to a clerk in Homicide who said the case had not been "classified" yet. In other words, the case was still pending.

Finally, Detective Sanchez called and we made an appointment to talk about TCU and Rainey specifically. I drove over to the Miami-Dade Police Department Headquarters located in Doral; a city on the western edge of Miami known for the Doral Open golf event. After clearing security, I was escorted to a conference room in the Homicide Division. Moments later, Detectives Sanchez and Akin entered. We shook hands and got down to business. I laid out the relevant details from the time I had filed Incident Reports to my firing to 'The Call' I received from Carmen (name changed - former coworker). Sanchez asked most of the questions, and in response to how TCU had declined so precipitously, I went even further back to the Samantha (name changed - former coworker who resigned in fear of her life) incident and Dr. Do-Nothing's lack of support.

I most assuredly left the detectives with a clear picture of how supervisors consistently ignored evidence of inmate abuse. I pointed out that Dr. Robles (name changed) did nothing to stem the increasing violence that led eventually to murder. I backtracked slightly, with regard to the term 'murder,' drawing attention to the fact that the detectives were the true experts as to what constituted murder. I punctuated my account with the exact dialogue from the 'Silence Meeting' (Chapter 32). Easy to do since there was so little of it!

The Silence Meeting was where I had tried to raise the issue of inmate abuse as it applied to Joseph Swilling who was beaten with a mental health staffer looking on. Nobody wanted to talk about it and I left frustrated with a final thought, "What's it going to take to change anything in here? Does somebody have to die first?"

We wrapped up and Sanchez escorted me down to the lobby. I left with a good impression of both detectives. Based on my sense of the Frank Valdez murder and the acquittal of his killers, I knew they and the justice system were in for a daunting journey to conviction. At least I could say I made an effort on Rainey's part to get him and his family some justice. A small part of me was pleased with this effort that was much further than I had gotten after I was fired. A very small part.    

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George Mallinckrodt