A Black Miami police officer will be fired over an incident with a Black woman at Miami International Airport. After a verbal exchange, he slapped the woman near the security screening lines.
The Miami Herald obtained body camera footage of the incident.
Police officer strikes woman during dispute at Miami airport youtu.be
The footage shows a Black woman and Black police officer engaged in a verbal altercation Tuesday while other officers look on, one of whose body camera was the source of the footage.
As the altercation becomes more heated, the woman moves closer and closer to the officer and can be heard calling out the officer's behavior as "White."
"You acting like you White when you really Black.
The woman then moves very close to the officer's face and challenges him.
"What you want to do?"
The officer then slaps her so hard she falls backward.
Ascramble ensues as the other officers present attempt to handcuff her.
During the scuffle, the officer who slapped the woman claims:
"She headbutted me."
The body cam footage shows this was not the case.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez expressed shock over the incident.
I am shocked and angered by a body cam video that i just saw involving one of our officers. I’ve immediately initia… https://t.co/se664tu6g2— Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III (@Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III)1593653425.0
In a follow-up tweet, Director Ramirez stated the Officer's behavior would not be tolerated.
"This will not stand, and I assure our community that any officer acting in this vain [sic] will be held to account."
In another tweet, Ramirez shared he had asked Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to open an investigation into the use of force.
"I have also just spoken to our State Attorney @KathyFndzRundle and asked that her office immediately become involved in the investigation."
Ramirez later posted that the officer would be terminated.
UPDATE: As a result of an administrative investigation into the officer’s conduct during this incident; it is my in… https://t.co/eLPN18M2Zd— Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III (@Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III)1593720285.0
The administrative process to proceed with termination has been initiated. The MDPD holds itself accountable for it… https://t.co/fRrnrcx1oQ— Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III (@Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III)1593720286.0
On Twitter, people were outraged.
The thought was even if insulted by her words, the on-duty uniformed officer should not have responded with violence.
@MayorGimenez @MDPD_Director @MiamiDadePD Why didn't he use his de-escalation training? That's if he even bothered… https://t.co/tw0mXSl5yt— I Am Román-Joy (@I Am Román-Joy)1593662270.0
@MDPD_Director Arrest the officer, and check on any wife/girlfriend. That is definitely *not* the first time he’s p… https://t.co/jVa0zl7BWq— Chrissy Spakoski (@Chrissy Spakoski)1593661547.0
@MDPD_Director When will the Officer be arrested for assault? That “bad apple” needs to be behind bars.— Raul Colon Ⓥ (@Raul Colon Ⓥ)1593656532.0
A. NORMAL. HUMAN. BEING. WOULD. BE. IN. A. HOLDING. CELL. DO. YOUR. JOB. https://t.co/Uv0xsoW5Ro— Josh “Thanos” Webb (@Josh “Thanos” Webb)1593657368.0
If someone hit a cop like that they would already be under arrest not investigation https://t.co/VvmU4LzXZV— Drew McCoy (@Drew McCoy)1593690754.0
@RawStory @pameladubsky49 He needed to show restraint. She was expressing her free speech. He may not have liked it… https://t.co/rwu9pB9vC1— Freddie (Frederica) (@Freddie (Frederica))1593707020.0
@DavidOvalle305 Is this another “isolated case of police brutality”? They are out of control, it’s time to hold them accountable.— mayuli (@mayuli)1593658349.0
Has anyone checked on this police officer's life partner? Because this... is not his first rodeo. https://t.co/hJpir20xbk— Fabienne Josaphat 🇭🇹 (@Fabienne Josaphat 🇭🇹)1593692889.0
@FLBeachLover3 @DWUhlfelderLaw All the officers involved were "relieved of duty", but that probably means they're o… https://t.co/9If3rinuiu— Matthew Maurice (@Matthew Maurice)1593660284.0
On Wednesday, Herald journalist David Ovalle reported that the Miami-Dade Police's union insisted the woman was at fault.
The police union says the woman was "clearly the aggressor," refusing to leave, yelling and pushing her face into h… https://t.co/GgQRU3JEtL— David Ovalle (@David Ovalle)1593658531.0
However this justification ignores the fact a civilian who responds to a verbal altercation with physical violence will get arrested for assault.
@DavidOvalle305 Because police are such snowflakes they have to physically assault a woman who hurts their feelings… https://t.co/nfLCJYI12w— DaphneDoGood 🐝 (@DaphneDoGood 🐝)1593661026.0
@DavidOvalle305 So wait, the rule now is that it's okay to punch or slap someone who doesn't touch you but yells at… https://t.co/QxRV5vWP6P— Lisa Senecal (@Lisa Senecal)1593659156.0
@lcsenecal @DavidOvalle305 Yes, it should. I know a police woman (retired) who maintains that almost ANY situation… https://t.co/rB5d7BApij— JB McQuilken (@JB McQuilken)1593666767.0
Or that slaps don't seem to be the answer when the yelling and pushing into the faces of law enforcement is done by heavily armed White men.
@patriot1077 @DavidOvalle305 Exactly and I believe Michigan gentlemen brought their guns.— Kathleen Alice ☘️ (@Kathleen Alice ☘️)1593666092.0
@kathleenalice4 @patriot1077 @DavidOvalle305 Assault rifles, nazi and confederate signs.— Jann (@Jann)1593699797.0
The officer in question was identified as Antonio Clemente Rodriguez, who was identified as Black Puerto Rican.