Miami-Dade Officer Risks Dismissal for Ignoring Colleague’s DUI: NBC 6

A Miami-Dade police officer is reportedly facing dismissal after failing to investigate a co-worker’s potential DUI. Officer Anthony Santillan is accused of disregarding witness reports that Officer Willy Knapp appeared intoxicated, and consequently not adequately investigating a car accident involving Knapp.

The internal investigation revealed that Santillan provided a false crash report, asserting no suspicion of alcohol despite Knapp having rear-ended another vehicle. An investigation panel also concluded that Santillan didn’t properly probe the accident scene by failing to question Knapp about possible evidence of impairment.

While the panel couldn’t firmly decide on whether Knapp was under the influence due to Santillan’s lack of proper investigation, video footage assessed didn’t display Knapp exhibiting signs of intoxication. The mother and teenage son whose car Knapp hit are questioning Santillan’s response to their claims of Knapp’s impaired condition.

Santillan awaits final dismissal determination; however, his dismissal already has higher-level support from the department, including from the Director, Stephanie Daniels. Another officer who intervened in the case, at that time a trainee, has already been dismissed earlier in October. The officer allegedly acted improperly during the investigation, intervening between Santillan and Knapp.

Witness testimonies claimed they suspected Knapp to be intoxicated, with one even sharing an instance in which Knapp stumbled and fell on them. Despite Knapp’s denial of pre-crash drinking, and the lack of official confirmation of the DUI allegation, Santillan’s failure in handling the case has drawn significant criticism. Santillan maintains that while he could have been more proactive, he did not intentionally falsify any information.

Despite his defense, it seems Santillan’s explanation has failed to convince the department to revoke the recommendation for his dismissal. Knapp, a long-time veteran of the department and the sibling of a local sheriff candidate, has yet to comment on the situation. Meanwhile, the department has been critical of the prolonged investigation and delayed release of records tied to the case.

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