Chief Antonio Brooklen
The sex circus surrounding Chief Antonio Brooklen started when he took Kalicia Battle to a strip club as part of her hiring process.
In a complaint Battle filed against the city of Miami Gardens, she claimed that: “Out of uniform and dressed in a suit, [Miami Gardens Police Department Chief Antonio Brooklen] told her to park her vehicle in the private garage adjacent to the strip club and walked her in through a private back entrance up to a private suite overlooking the main stage.”
Battle, 25-years-old at the time, was hired as a Miami Gardens police officer Aug. 10, 2015, and said the sexual advances continued. She was openly gay and was later romantically involved with Officer Kimberly McDonald. McDonald, who had sex with Brooklen, said he “was physically abusive and she was afraid of him,” according to the complaint.
As their relationship got serious, McDonald allegedly promised to stop having sex with Brooklen. But Battle thinks she broke her promise.
Antonio Brooklen was sworn in as police chief of Miami Gardens — one of the poorest and most crime-plagued areas of Miami-Dade County — in November 2015. The previous chief had been arrested in a prostitution sting.
Less than a year later, Brooklen resigned. He says he left to care for his sick mother, but in reality, he was hit with a sexual-harassment complaint the day before he stepped down. The complainant, former Miami Gardens Police Officer Kalicia Battle, reportedly sent Brooklen a letter threatening to sue him in federal court.
“From the very first day Chief Brooklen laid eyes on 25-year-old Kalicia Battle, she became the object of his unsolicited affection,” the suit says, “at least one of the objects, as she would soon find out.”
Battle contends that when she was applying to become a Gardens officer, Brooklen asked to meet her outside the office for an “official meeting” to discuss her application — except he insisted the pair meet at the Miami Gardens strip club Tootsie’s Cabaret, where he allegedly kissed her on the cheek without her consent.
Other allegations detail more appalling behavior: After she was hired, Battle says, Brooklen asked for another meeting to discuss her status as an officer-in-training. He wound up forcing the new hire into his city-issued tan Ford Expedition — where, the suit says, he groped her “legs and chest, in the very parking lot of the police station he was tasked with commanding.”
THREATS AND JOKES
According to the suit, Battle escaped by saying she had to go home to meet her father. After the incident, she says, the chief regularly called and asked if she was avoiding him. He would also “regularly threaten to get her in trouble. And ‘joke’ about her going back to working as a security guard.”
Battle says Brooklen later called her and another rookie officer to his office for meetings. After the first, male officer spoke with Brooklen alone and left, the chief allegedly called Battle into the room. He then shut the door behind them and shoved his hand down her pants.
“Ms. Battle was frozen in shock,” the suit reads. “Chief Brooklen then told her to sit down and asked if ‘she was excited.’ Not knowing what to say in such a situation with such a powerful authority figure, Ms. Battle forced herself to say that she was.”
After the incident, the suit says, Battle ignored Brooklen’s calls and avoided him at work. The chief retaliated by forcing her to work nothing but night shifts.
Battle (and other media outlets) have brought up the fact Chief Antonio Brooklen was promoted to chief despite the fact he had been the subject of a 2009 sex-harassment complaint — in which investigators suspended him for 30 days after they say he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a female crime-scene technician and asked her to meet at a nightclub multiple times. Investigators also found “more than 60” sexually explicit images on his work computer, according to the Herald. (Brooklen was also demoted from major to captain that year for other misconduct.)
On September 21, Battle told the city she intended to sue. The next day Chief Antonio Brooklen resigned.
How can you trust a police department like this?
A dead fish stinks from the head down. And the MGPD is a dead fish. For the last couple of years, they have had nothing but problems with their leadership.
Lead by example as the old saying goes.
So it’s no wonder that the rank and file have problems of their own. The best example of that is then Capt. Carole Thony, Sgt. Dwayne
Piper, Sgt. Buddy Hunholz participated in the action to ‘unlawfully’ detain Battle after an argument with McDonald.
And if they do that with one of their own, how would they treat civilians?
Can you really trust a police department who uses this kind of judgment in hiring its leaders?
No, you cannot.
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