Two high-level former Miami Beach police officers sent hundreds of racist, pornographic and crude emails to fellow cops, prompting a criminal probe and angry words from city leaders amid a time of heightened national scrutiny on law enforcement, the Miami Herald reports. Many of the emails depicting crude Internet jokes, including one showing cartoon character Bugs Bunny calling Daffy Duck a racial slur, were released yesterday as State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle detailed what she called the “juvenile behavior and locker room mentality” of the department under former police chief Raymond Martinez. “Not only are we all offended by these emails, but this conduct seems to have been accepted by the department and permeated the highest ranks,” she said.
Among the photos sent via city email was one from the autopsy of a motorist who was killed by Miami Beach police in a controversial 2011 shooting. Prosecutors are investigating whether former Maj. Angel Vasquez broke the law when he emailed the photo to someone outside of the department. “Disgraceful, criminal behavior,” Miami Beach Chief Dan Oates said of the photo's release. The investigation, which has expanded to include at least 14 other cops who received the emails, was yet another blow for a department of over 300 sworn officers that is still reeling from years of negative headlines. “This is a very sad day for Miami Beach,” said Mayor Philip Levine.