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SWEETWATER (CBSMiami) — Just days after being reinstated as a Sweetwater cop, the city’s police chief relieved Sgt. Rafael Castro of duty.

Castro had been back on the job for eight days before Police Chief Placido Diaz relieved him with pay due to a criminal investigation being conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

“On today’s date, I relieved Mr. Castro, once again, with pay due to the fact that he is under investigation by another agency for criminal acts,” said Diaz.

Castro had previously been relieved of duty for his role in covering up a crash involving another officer seen speeding through a red-light camera back in April 2016, police said.

While the officer was headed to an emergency call, Sweetwater police policy requires and officer to stop at a red light even while heading to an emergency.

Castro was that officer’s superior at the time and reportedly knew about a video showing the cop taking the red light but failed to “bring corrective actions to resolve the matter,” police said.

Back on May 2016, Castro was terminated. The police chief cited that Castro had tried to get an evaluation of the officer involved in the crash passed even though he had been ordered not to involve himself in the matter since it was part of a criminal investigation.

Fast forward to April 3, 2017, in which Castro appeared before the City of Sweetwater Commission and asked for his job back. In a unanimous 7-0 vote, Castro was reinstated – this time as a sergeant and with back pay.

According to sources, Castro was seen knocking on doors in the City of Sweetwater just a month before in an effort to obtain resident signatures to recall Mayor Orlando Lopez. He appeared at the meeting in front of the commission he allegedly helped obtain those signatures for.

A day after the commission meeting, Sgt. Castro showed up for his first day at work, only to be relieved of duty due to the criminal investigation.

At last check, Miami-Dade Police were not releasing much information on Castro’s investigation – simply citing that it was considered criminal.

The Police Benevolent Association who represents Castro said the suspension is a political move.


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