Dozens of cases involving former Fort Lauderdale cops dropped

Former police officers accused of engaging in racist exchanges

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Dozens of cases involving four former Fort Lauderdale police officers accused of engaging in racist exchanges have been dropped by the Broward State Attorney's Office.

The cases dropped include eight misdemeanors, 12 felonies and one juvenile case. Seventeen more cases are expected to be dropped.

The felony cases include charges such as aggravated assault with a firearm, grand theft, cocaine possession, burglary and possession of a firearm by a felon.

James Wells, 29, Jason Holding, 31, and Christopher Sousa, 25, were fired last month after racially charged text messages were brought forth to the police department by 22-year-old Alex Alvarez's ex-fiancee.

Alvarez quit during the internal investigation by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

According to Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley, Alvarez's ex-fiancee brought forth a racially charged video that Alvarez had made and said that she had seen racist text messages sent between Alvarez and the other officers.

Adderley said all four officers were immediately removed from having contact with the public and that they claimed the video was a joke.

The video, which was made to seem like a movie trailer entitled "The Hoods," consisted of many racist depictions, including a photo of President Barack Obama with gold teeth, someone wearing a KKK hood and a black man being attacked by a dog. 

In one of the group text messages sent by Sousa, the officer wrote, "Holdings we are coming and drinking all your beer and killing (expletive)."

At least 17 more cases are expected to be dropped in the coming days. Authorities said the majority of the officers' pending cases involved black suspects.

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