[WATCH] Hialeah Cop Accused of Forcing Teen to Strip Never Punished, Back on Patrol

Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velazquez

In June 2015, a 17-year-old girl told multiple news outlets that Hialeah Police Sgt. Jesus “Jesse” Menocal Jr. threatened to sexually assault her while he was on-duty. The teen told multiple TV stations that Menocal arrested her for making an illegal U-turn, cornered her in a Hialeah Police station, and demanded she remove her bra and shorts or she “was going to get arrested.” The teen told CBS Miami that Menocal rubbed his genitals through his uniform while making his demands and asked if the teen “was a virgin.”

The girl — who wasn’t named due to her age and the nature of the allegations — said Menocal ultimately released her after she took her shorts off. Hialeah Police told reporters that Menocal had been suspended with pay as of June 14, 2015, the day the department received a complaint about the incident.

But Hialeah Police spokesperson Carl Zogby now tells New Times that Menocal was “never suspended” and, after a stint supervising the police academy, is now back on patrol. That’s despite the fact that two years later, Hialeah’s internal affairs department still hasn’t closed an investigation into the teen’s disturbing allegations.

“Sgt. Menocal was never suspended, but the IA case is not closed, thereby not available for public records release yet,” Zogby says via email. “He is back on patrol, and that is an operational needs decision.”

It’s unclear why Hialeah PD initially said the cop had been suspended. In fact, Zogby himself told CBS Miami in 2015 that the officer had been taken off duty. CBS also reported that the department confiscated Menocal’s gun and towed his cruiser.

But this past Monday, Zogby said any news reports claiming Menocal was suspended were “inaccurate.”

“There was no suspension that I am aware of,” Zogby said via phone yesterday afternoon. Zogby did not respond to multiple follow-up messages about his own contradictory statements in 2015.

Given that the so-called IA investigation into Menocal’s conduct has now stretched for more than two years, it would be extremely difficult for the department to punish him even if investigators determined the girl was telling the truth. Under the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, if an IA probe takes longer than 180 days to complete, the officer in question cannot be punished.

In 2015, when he was accused, Menocal was a SWAT officer. In an interview with CBS, the teen claimed Menocal put her in the back of his cruiser and drove her to a nearby police station. He asked her girlfriend to follow the cruiser in her own car.

For the full story visit: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/marco-rubio-florida-gop-offer-vegas-thoughts-and-prayers-while-taking-thousands-from-nra-9719224

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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