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‘Egregious’ behavior gets 2 Miami Gardens officers fired, chief says

Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates 2 officers fired

Victim discusses ordeal with since-fired Miami Gardens police officers
Victim discusses ordeal with since-fired Miami Gardens police officers

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said Wednesday that she decided to terminate two police officers who are under a criminal investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The firings were over a beating that was caught on several videos. It happened before the video of George Floyd’s killing shed light on the worldwide challenges with police brutality.

“I terminated the officers because the behavior was egregious and will not be tolerated at the department,” Noel-Pratt said in a statement.

One of the officers is accused of beating up a suspect’s acquaintance. The other officer is accused of covering it up by not downloading his bodycam footage, which is a requirement after every shift.

For Miguel, the victim seen in those videos being held on the ground, he wants to see more than just those officers losing their jobs.

“I want to see more done than just them getting fired, I want criminal charges,” Miguel told Local 10 News. “I’m a big dude and when they went to put my hands behind my back, one of the other officers came and kicked me in my face.

A source familiar with the case identified the former police officers as Jaiver Castano and Jordy Yanes Matel. Records show the department hired Castano on Aug. 27, 2018 and Yanes Matel on Oct. 9, 2018.

The South Florida Police Benevolent Association said it is representing the officers and released a statement Thursday that read: “The City of Miami Gardens has not formally advised at this time the reason the officers were dismissed. We are currently seeking and anxiously awaiting further information from the City of Miami Gardens.”

Miguel said the beating was on March 21 at the RaceTrac gas station at 19100 NW 2nd Ave., in Miami Gardens. He said he still deals with neck and back pain, and has flashbacks from a night that never should have happened.

“I don’t fight with no officers, I don’t give nobody no problems,” he said.

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.