Miami Beach Cop Says Mayor Tried to 'Instigate' Confrontation Along With Democratic Fund-Raiser During Party Crashing Incident


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Miami Beach

Last December, police in Miami Beach, Florida, responded to a call from a resident holding an invitation-only art party on Star Island. Up to 1,000 uninvited guests looking to crash the party showed up anyway, according to an Internal Affairs (IA) report on the incident. The newly-elected mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine, filed a complaint when he witnessed one officer, Giordano Cardoso, firing his Taser into the ground in an attempt to control the crowd and allegedly waving the Taser around.

IA found the use of the Taser by police appropriate. In the report Officer Cardoso claimed the mayor was trying to intimidate officers on the scene. Via the IA report:

As the crowd dispersed, Mayor Philip Levine was overheard by them "encouraging" a male known to the Mayor to try and enter the residence again. According to witness Marquez, Mayor Levine "witnessed his friend excite the crowd and described the friend's actions as very strange (challenging the officers as he looked back at the crowd)." According to witness Marquez, "the friend seemed to be "putting on a show" by arguing with the officer and looking back towards the Mayor."

The Miami Herald fills in some details:

Though the report doesn't identify him, the man is Christopher Korge, a high-level Democratic fundraiser who hosted President Barack Obama at his Pinecrest home in 2012.

Cardoso told Korge that "if he continued to try to enter, that it would be considered trespassing." That's when, the report says, Levine approached Cardoso, shook his hand and said, "I'm the new mayor of Miami Beach," and repeated it several times.

The mayor claims he spoke to someone with the police department the next day but could not provide a name. Police say they attempted to contact him several times for a sworn statement but could not reach him.

Levine was endorsed last year by Bill Clinton, and his official bio describes him as an "integral" member of the Miami Beach community for the past 30 years. The homeowner who threw the party said the mayor was a friend and had been among 300 invitees. He called the party crashing scene "absolutely insane" and a "horror."