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SWEETWATER (CBSMiami) — The mayor of Sweetwater has decided to fire a police Lieutenant accused of covering-up a crash involving a police officer.
Mayor Orlando Lopez released his termination later today for Lt. Rafael Castro. Castro’s termination is effective immediately for “untruthfulness, tampering with a public document and conduct unbecoming an officer.”
A CBS4 News investigation found Castro allegedly knew about a red light camera video showing the crash but did nothing.
The video shows Officer Alejandro Ramos speeding through a red light in February 2015, on his way to an emergency call, causing a crash.
But Officer Ramos’ statement to FHP investigators said he stopped at the light and proceeded using due care.
That statement led to the driver of the pick-up truck involved in the crash being ticketed.
When CBS4 started asking questions last summer, the police chief launched an investigation, which ended with Ofc. Ramos’ arrest on a charge of official misconduct for allegedly falsifying an official statement.
As CBS4 News kept digging, we uncovered a written reprimand showing Castro was aware of the video’s existence and the circumstances of the crash, but did not take any sort of action.
Following a hearing on May 6th, Lt. Castro and his attorney declined to comment but Mayor Lopez and Chief Jose Diaz had plenty to say.
“This was not an isolated incident. This was a conspiracy almost that everyone knew of the cover-up or at least those involved,” Mayor Lopez said.
“It’s a sad day when we have an officer lie and get substantiated in lying and still wears a badge,” Chief Diaz told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana. “You become ineffective as a witness, in my opinion, and ineffective as a police officer.”