Questions relate to the presence of the Miami Metropolis Commissioner within the unlicensed nightclub

MIAMI, Fla. – The police bodycam video shows police officers cracking down on an illegal nightclub last month, but it also shows Miami City Commissioner for District 1, Alex Díaz de la Portilla.

“It’s a city sponsored company.” That’s what veteran code enforcement officer Suzann Nicholson thought when Díaz de la Portilla visited her with police guards operating against illegal pop-up nightclubs that were violating the curfew.

In the video, the inspector is called in to deal with the Code Enforcement Officer and the police officers who were there to cite illegal nightclub deals. Not to mention, it was past midnight – after the county curfew at midnight.

In the video, Nicholson can be heard saying, “I think he represents the face of the city with the unlicensed activities.”

“No, no, no,” says the masked commissioner and on her left the operator of the tenant, who is a retired civil servant and knows her.

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The commissioner corrects them. “Don’t assume,” he says, “nothing to do with the city here.” Then Díaz de la Portilla asks them to go about their business.

“You do what you have to do, go where you have to and we will take care of it after the fact,” he says.

There are two issues to be discussed: one is the event itself and the other is the lack of information about the event at the highest levels of the police and the city.

Texts between the code and the police officers reveal the assignment that evening as they went to several addresses in Allapattah that were warehouses by day and unlicensed party venues by night.

There is a list of violations issued in the place where the commissioner was, including no permit and no business tax receipts.

So back to these questions:

What was an elected official doing here at an unlicensed club following a COVID-19 curfew that he loudly supported last year?

Why are there conflicting versions of police reports? It is said that a weapon was involved but one that was broadcast publicly was not.

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Why was there other public records, including body-worn camera video? The clip Local 10 News received shows only a fraction of what happened. Nicholson emailed officials to ask for it.

What did the interim Miami police chief Ronald L. Paper know and how did he react? Paper was not available when Local 10 News contacted them on Friday.

Local 10 News received a notice from City Manager Art Noriega early Friday night saying he was unaware of it until this week.

However, Noriega is opening an internal investigation into the Code Compliance Officer’s allegations that she was ill-treated and injured in the incident last month. Díaz de la Portilla denies any wrongdoing.

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