City of Miami - Office of Civilian Investigative Panel

Process

Filing a Complaint

All complaints must be submitted within a year of the date of the incident giving rise to the complaint. Complaints submitted after one year of the alleged misconduct may, however, be reviewed by the CIP only if approved by a majority vote of its members.

The CIP shall not accept complaints concerning incidents predating the effective date of the City of Miami Charter Amendment providing for the creation of the Panel (November 6, 2001).

The CIP Investigation Process

  1. After receiving a complaint about alleged misconduct, the CIP shall notify the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, within two (2) working days of the date received.

  2. Complaints received by the Internal Affairs Division will be preliminarily reviewed by the CIP and a determination made as to whether the CIP will conduct an independent investigation.

  3. The CIP may proceed with an investigation after determination by its independent counsel that an investigation will not interfere with any pending criminal investigation.

  4. The CIP may hold evidentiary hearings to be attended by the complainant, officers affected, witnesses and their attorney or representatives.

  5. At the conclusion of each review or investigation, the CIP shall render one of the following findings based on a preponderance of the evidence:

  • Unfounded: where the review or investigation shows that the act or acts complained of did not occur or were misconstrued.
  • Exonerated: where the acts that provide the basis for the complaint occurred, but the review or investigation shows such acts were proper.
  • Not Sustained: where the review or investigation fails to disclose sufficient facts to prove or disprove the allegations) made in the complaint.
  • Sustained: where the review or investigation discloses sufficient facts to prove the allegations) made in the complaint.
  • No Finding: where, for example, the complainant failed to produce information to further the investigation; the review or investigation revealed that another agency was responsible, and the complaint has been referred to that agency; the complainant withdrew the complaint; the complainant is unavailable to clarify the complaint; the officer is no longer employed by the City of Miami, or the CIP did not reach a conclusion.

At the conclusion of its review or investigation, the CIP shall forward its written findings and conclusions to the Chief of Police, affected officers and to the extent permitted by law, to the complainant(s).