Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Stripped of Duty Follow-Up
As 7 News first reported, a North Miami Beach Police officer was stripped of duty after being caught on camera with strippers. Now, his department has finished its investigation of the incident and Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with the results in this exclusive report.
WSVN -- It was last November when 7 News first showed you this video from a security camera in a strip club.
North Miami Beach Police Officer Jerry Hamilton, in uniform, is caught on camera with club dancers.
He twice buried his head in one woman's exposed breasts.
At another point, a local businessman gives him what appears to be cash and encourages him to throw it in the air for the women. In strip clubs, the practice is called "making it rain."
The second woman who joins in is totally nude. The businessman takes the officer's hands and puts them on the woman's breasts, and at one point, she grabs the officer's privates.
Chief Ralph Hernandez, North Miami Beach Police Department: "Extremely disappointed, and it was unacceptable behavior."
As soon as Police Chief Ralph Hernandez saw the video, he suspended the officer with pay. Since then, Hamilton, a 15-year veteran of the department, has been the subject of an internal affairs investigation.
The chief says that investigation is now closed, and he has suspended Officer Hamilton for two and a half months without pay.
Chief Ralph Hernandez: "We took his badge. We took his vehicle. We took everything that shows that he's a police officer."
And that's not all.
Chief Ralph Hernandez: "Also a written reprimand. Also, he cannot work any off-duty details at adult entertainment locations throughout his career with the police department."
The chief says he considered terminating Officer Hamilton but decided not to based on Hamilton's attitude and apology for his actions.
The department says Officer Hamilton did not want to comment for this report.
Carmel Cafiero: "Do you think Officer Hamilton will ever get himself in a situation like this again?"
Chief Ralph Hernandez: "Well, let me just say this: he better not, 'cause he won't be here as an officer."
Carmel Cafiero: "There are no winners in a situation like this, but Officer Hamilton could have fared much worse. There's no doubt his career has been damaged, but it has not been destroyed."
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