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Interim Miami Chief Rehires Seven Officers Fired, Demoted by Acevedo

In a sweeping rebuke to controversial moves by fired Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, the city's interim chief has rehired seven of the department’s highest ranking officers, most of them to their former designations. Included were the agency’s highest-ranked married couple and a sergeant-at-arms who was a popular fixture at City Hall. Also returning to his post is the former head of Internal Affairs. Interim chief Manny Morales did not offer details on why he decided to overturn his predecessor, who was fired in October after a series of missteps and an escalating feud with powerful city commissioners, the Miami Herald reports.

Little Havana Police Commander Nerly Papier and her husband Ron Papier, the department’s former deputy chief, will return as captains, ranks that will enable them to collect lower salaries than their previous pay and receive benefits. The Papiers were suspended in April and fired after being accused of misrepresenting and not following the proper chain of command after an April 2 accident in which Nerly Papier crashed her city-issued SUV into a curb on the way to work. Also returning to the position of major is one of the department’s most senior Black women, Keandra Simmons, who was demoted to lieutenant by Acevedo. The former chief's decision to fire and suspend the officers was in keeping with a pledge to reform the department and break up what he viewed as a stagnant power structure. Acevedo was meeting with the staff for the first time when Nerly Papier ran into a curb and blew out two tires. Acevedo stressed accountability and offered a now infamous quote, “You lie, you die.” It was the first in a series of suspensions and firings that would land Acevedo in hot water with city commissioners and eventually lead to his firing in October.


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