MIAMI (CBS4) – The City of Miami Police Department has a new temporary top cop. Major Manuel Orosa has been named acting Chief of Police in the wake of Miguel Exposito’s suspension.
Miami City Manager Johnny Martinez appointed 31-year veteran Maj. Manuel Orosa, as acting police chief. He is the most senior member of the police department staff. Orosa has worked in communications, patrol, special events, special investigations, internal affairs, and street narcotics.
“Today, I was placed in temporary charge of the City of Miami Police Department. As a 31-year member of this fine law enforcement agency, I am proud to accept this responsibility and eager to contribute positively to this professional organization and in the lives of the citizens we proudly serve,” said Orosa in a written statement.
It was during his tenure as sergeant of a street narcotics unit which connects him to one of the police department’s most infamous incidents, the beating death of Wynwood drug dealer Leonardo “Cano” Mercado and the Wynwood riots.
In 1998, six officers in Orosa’s street narcotics unit were charged with federal civil rights violations and conspiracy in Mercado’s death.
In 1990, Wynwood exploded with violence after the acquittal of those six Miami police officers.
Orosa was never charged with a crime.
If Miami commissioners uphold Martinez’ decision to remove Exposito, the city manager said he will conduct a national search for a replacement.
Major Orosa was considered a candidate for the top job in 2009 when Exposito got the position.
Exposito was suspended from his job Tuesday morning following a closed-door meeting with City Manager Johnny Martinez.
Exposito has five days to appeal the suspension to the City of Miami Commission. The Commission will then vote to re-instate him or uphold the manager’s decision to remove him.