Broward News

Fort Lauderdale Racist Cops: The Domestic Incident that Exposed Them

It has been less than a week since the Fort Lauderdale Police Department pulled back the curtain on a racism scandal among its own ranks. Last Friday four officers — James Wells, Christopher Sousa, Jason Holding, and Alex Alvarez — lost their jobs with the department after racist texts and videos were uncovered by department brass. The whistle-blower here, however, wasn't another cop. It was the ex-girlfriend of the main offender, Alvarez — Priscilla Perez. 

"I've been getting all different kinds of phone calls from stations and reporters, and as I previously said before, I have no other comment on the matter," Perez told New Times during a brief phone call on Wednesday afternoon.  "I think what I did was right, I think people should know what's going on, and people like that shouldn't be protected." 

The incident that set off the scandal didn't even happen in Broward County, but a half-hour south in the urban sprawl wastes of Doral. That was where Alvarez and Perez shared an apartment on NW 97 Avenue up until last fall. On October 13, the couple was involved in a blow-out domestic incident — a situation that deserves a closer look. 

The couple apparently had a warp-speed relationship, getting engaged after only two months. If you punch Alex Alvarez and Priscilla Perez into a Google search, you find what appears to be the couple's wedding web site. Beside the picture embedded below, the only information listed on the site is that the couple's engagement happened in March 2014. That date puts it within the timeline of the relationship Perez described to Fort Lauderdale investigators. 

In her interviews with Fort Lauderdale PD investigators, Perez said that Alvarez didn't hide his racist views during their ten-month relationship. According to the ex, Alvarez was "fascinated" with Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and "referred to himself as Master Candie, the role of a slave owner played by  Leonardo DiCaprio." Perez told investigators Alvarez thought "black people should be slaves." She said the officer "would call a number to listen to 'jokes' or a 'white power message.'" 

Alvarez also allegedly wouldn't watch the new version of Annie because the title character was portrayed by a black actress. He also refused to eat at restaurants where black people were present, according to Perez. 

An October 13 2014 incident in Doral that closed the door on their relationship. Below, you'll find the Miami Dade PD report from the fight. The one-page document barely lays out any details. 

In case you can't read the handwriting, here's the officer's narrative from the domestic call: 

C-1 [Alvarez] and C-2 [Perez] have been dating for about a year and currently live together. On above listed date, C-1 and C-2 were involved in a verbal dispute reference verbal problems within their relationship. C-1 told this unit that he would leave the residence for the night. DV pamphlet and C/C issued. (No sign of physical contact) 

No arrests stemmed from the call, so that might account for the lack of detail.

The Miami Dade report doesn't mention that Alvarez was a Fort Lauderdale cop. Perez later told internal affairs investigators that Alvarez had been in uniform at the time of the disturbance. Perez also told investigators Alarez was armed at the time — another critical detail missing from the Miami Dade report. Perez also told IA cops that she had been so "afraid" of her soon-to-be ex that she waited outside of the apartment for the Miami Dade police to arrive. She also mentions being "pushed." 

Here's Perez's later account of the incident, which she told the internal affairs investigators: 

"I told him I wanted to end the relationship and he got very verbally abusive and aggressive, s-started throwing the doors, pushed me out of the way, um, screaming and got very violent. When I asked him to leave, he said he wasn't leaving anywhere. He started using cuss words like bitch, et cetera, and I called the police."
"I was waiting outside because I was afraid he was inside, like, going crazy and so I waited outside. Once [Miami Dade police] arrived, um, they asked me where he was and if he was armed. I told them yes that he was armed because he didn't wanna take off his uniform, his belt or anything and he's waiting inside. Um, they came in and he was just standing there and they made him, um, take out his gun and his, um weapons, his knives and stuff and then he just started acting like a completely different person. Saying, 'You don't have to worry about me. I do this for a living. I know what this is,' and so on and so forth." 

Perez told Fort Lauderdale investigators that Alvarez took some of his stuff and drove off in his police car. 

Three days after their breakup, Perez sent her first email to Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley.
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Kyle Swenson
Contact: Kyle Swenson