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Ex-Florida Police Chief Finally Puts Guilty Person In Prison: Himself

Post-Racial America

Raimundo Atesiano is going to prison for a while but not nearly long enough. Atesiano was sentenced last week to three years for conspiracy to frame black men for crimes they didn't commit. It wasn't personal. It was strictly a corrupt business. The former police chief of Biscayne Park, a small town in Florida, encouraged three of his officers to crap on the lives of innocent people as a quick fix for reported burglaries.

This is somewhat justice delayed: Atesiano resigned in 2014 after the officers involved -- Guillermo Ravelo, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez -- directly implicated him. They were all sentenced to prison last month for arresting a 16-year-old in 2013 under Atesiano's direction and pinning on him four unsolved burglaries. This is a serious felony.


"When I took the job, I was not prepared," Atesiano told a federal judge on Tuesday. "I made some very, very bad decisions."

This is the sort of understatement you expect to hear as the ironic voiceover to a movie trailer about a crooked cop. Atesiano didn't incompetently arrest the wrong person. He did so deliberately. He's also being unfair to himself when he says he wasn't prepared for his job. Before he was chief, Atesiano reportedly issued 2,200 traffic tickets by himself in one year. Biscayne Park, which the city of Miami cut loose during the Depression, has a population of just more than 3,000 people. That's a lot of traffic tickets for a place with probably three stop lights.

Atesiano actually went on TV and bragged about his department's "100 percent" crime-solving rate. That's how you knew he was crooked. Not even Sherlock Holmes had that good a performance record. "This is the first time I've ever known that to happen in any department," he claimed. The guy is literally confessing while the audience applauds.

His lawyer argued that Atesiano's victims weren't just randomly selected but were known to police as having criminal pasts. This is a pretty crappy defense for a pretty crappy person. Random selection at least turns the whole conspiracy into a sort of twisted reality show: "Who Wants to Lose Their Civil Rights?" There's a reason Atesiano didn't try to frame Miami Heat owner Micky Arison. He made a point of preying on those who were the least likely to have resources to effectively fight back.

No one plans to go to prison but if you wind up facing hard time, you don't want it to be because you framed innocent people. Everyone in prison already thinks they got a raw deal, and they're not even that crazy about the cops who put away folks who are actually guilty. This isn't like a travel agent spending their vacation at an all inclusive resort they've sent a lot of clients to over the years. That's good enough for complementary mai tais.

Atesiano was looking at a maximum of 10 years, so I tend to think his three-year sentence is too kind. There's something perverse about ruining someone's life just to advance your career. His actions also made Biscayne Park less safe because it doesn't appear he actually ever apprehended the true culprits.

The judge is permitting Atesiano to remain free for two weeks before surrendering so he can look after his mother, who's dying of leukemia. It's probably awful to die knowing your son is a criminal who is about to spend the next three years in prison. I certainly feel more concern for her than Atesiano ever felt for his railroaded victims.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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