Two Miami Cops Relieved Of Duty After Video Shows Woman Being Punched And Tackled
Two Miami-Dade police officers have been ‘relieved of duty’ after footage emerged of a Black woman being hit in the face and tackled at Miami International Airport.
The video, filmed on Wednesday, July 1, shows a confrontation between a masked officer and a Black woman, who says to him: ‘You acting like you White when you really Black…what you want to do?’
In response, the unnamed officer hits her in the face and tackles her to the ground, spurring other officers to assist putting her in handcuffs.
You can see the video in the news report below. Warning, contains footage some may find upsetting:
Tension between the public and the nation’s police departments is incredibly fraught in the wake of George Floyd’s death and worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, as excessive force is continually exposed online.
The airport video – originally posted online by Miami filmmaker Billy Corben – sparked an immediate, furious reaction, with the officers involved being fired from the department pending a further investigation.
In a series of tweets, Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez wrote:
I am shocked and angered by a body cam video that I just saw involving one of our officers. I’ve immediately initiated an investigation and ordered that the involved officers be relieved of duty.
Actions such as these undermine the hard work that we have invested in our community and causes my heart to break for our community and for the vast majority of our officers who dedicate their lives to serving our County. This will not stand, and I assure our community that any officer acting in this vain will be held to account.
Ramirez has also enlisted the assistance of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to investigate the use of force in the incident.
In an additional statement on Twitter, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrote:
This is appalling. It’s excessive use of force and unnecessary. That’s NOT what our @MiamiDadePD are trained to do. @MDPD_Director Ramirez has ordered the officer relieved of duty & investigation is underway. This is why I instituted body cameras & MDPD is reviewing all footage.
The Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association said the officer hit her with an ‘open-hand slap’, also known as a ‘diversionary strike’, the Miami Herald reports. It’s not entirely known what prompted police attention in the first place.
Neither the officers nor the woman involved in the video have been identified.
In an update posted to Twitter, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department Alfredo Ramirez said he is intending to ‘proceed with the termination of the involved officer’s employment’, and ‘the administrative process to proceed with termination has been initiated.’
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