The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department (M-DSPD) had problems unique to its peculiar mission. The exposure of the department’s practices began inadvertently with the Miami Herald story on Martin’s multiple suspensions. The article prompted M-DSPD Chief Charles Hurley to launch a major Internal Affairs (IA) investigation into the possible leak of this information to the Herald.
As the investigation began, the officers realized immediately that they had a problem on their hands. “Oh, God, oh, my God, oh, God,” one major reportedly said when first looking at Martin’s data.
He could see that Martin had been suspended twice already that school year for offenses that should have gotten him arrested. In each case, however, the case file on Martin was fudged to make the crime less serious than it was.
To their credit, the officers, when questioned, told the truth about Martin and about the policies that kept him out of the justice system. From their statements, made under oath, it appears that Hurley instructed his officers to divert offending juveniles away from the criminal justice system and back to their respective schools for discipline.
Beyond the fighting and the drugs, Martin’s apprehension with stolen women’s jewelry and a burglary tool should have been a wake-up call for everyone in his life. It was not. Given the directives from the top, the officer involved in the case chose not to link Martin directly to the jewelry.