Body camera footage released on Sep. 21 shows Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz dropping a sheriff’s name and identifying himself as a commissioner during a Key West traffic stop. Diaz was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Video footage shows Diaz apologizing to an officer, telling him that he’s Commissioner Diaz from Miami-Dade County. Minutes later, Diaz said that he’s the most pro-police guy there is, and the officer responds by saying that pro-police or not, he had no business driving a motorcycle that night.
The 55-year-old former mayor of Sweetwater was clocked going 74 mph in a 30 mph zone. The police cuffed Diaz after he failed sobriety tests. Diaz refused to have his breath analyzed for alcohol.
Since Diaz refused a breath-alcohol test, he faces an automatic one year driver’s license suspension. However, as a county commissioner, he may have access to Miami-Dade officers who would be assigned to drive him to and from official events.
As he sat in the back of a squad car in handcuffs, Diaz was heard telling an officer to do whatever he had to do because his career ended. “It’s over,” he said.
On Sep. 21, the Officer of Gov. Rick Scott said that state attorneys were reviewing the incident. Florida’s governor does have the authority to suspend an elected official after an arrest, however, state law says that misdemeanors must be related to the “duties of office.”
Despite what Diaz said in the squad car about his career being over, Brian Andrews, a former TV reporter who helped arrange Diaz’s press conference, told the Miami Herald that Diaz does not feel that way.
The video shows Diaz having difficulty keeping his motorcycle upright. The officers repeatedly noted the unstable motorcycle, using that as evidence as to why Diaz should not have been driving.
After Diaz told an officer that all they’re trying to do is have a good time, the officer responded by telling him that he couldn’t even put his kickstand on his motorcycle without it falling over. Then the officer told Diaz that there was a very strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath.
Shortly after that, the footage captured Diaz saying, “There goes my political career.”
Miami DUI Defense Attorney
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