After 17 tumultuous months of fighting the mayor and a commissioner and attempting to quell angry voices from the inner city seared over a series of police shooting deaths of black men, Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito has been suspended, paving the way for his removal from the city he's worked in for 37 years. “I have taken this action because you have failed to obey my orders and have taken other actions that indicate just and reasonable cause to demonstrate that you cannot properly perform your duties as chief of police,” City Manager Johnny Martinez told Exposito, according to the Miami Herald.
The city commission now has five days to meet and determine if Martinez has cause to warrant Exposito's departure, loosely defined in the city charter as anything from intoxication to insubordination. If they don't override the manager's decision — or if the chief does not fight the suspension — Exposito is gone. Anticipating his suspension, Exposito requested whistleblower protection from Martinez late last week — the first step in a possible lawsuit. Martinez named 31-year veteran Maj. Manual Orosa as acting police chief. Orosa's first action was to remove Maj. Alfredo Alvarez from his post as head of internal affairs. Alvarez was one of the most visible members of Exposito's administration.