Miami Dade police officer hits black woman relieved of duty after Miami International Airport incident. What prompted alleged police brutality?
A Miami cop captured on surveillance camera hitting a woman in the face during an ‘altercation’ Wednesday night at Miami International Airport has been relieved of his duties.
Video of the incident was shared on Twitter on Wednesday night by Billy Corben, producer of the ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ documentaries and a critic of police tactics.
In the video, the woman taunts and argues with the officer and walks up to him before suddenly striking her in the head.
‘You’re black. You’re acting like you’re white but you’re really black,’ the woman can be heard saying to the officer — both of whom are black — who is seen motioning inches from the officer.
‘Don’t walk up on me, for real’ she says. ‘What you wanna do?’
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 2, 2020
The officer then cocks back his fist and punches the woman as bystanders gasp.
A second cop standing nearby then joins to assist the first officer as they grab the woman and pin her down as they place her under arrest.
After the punch, the officer declares, ‘She head-butted me.’
It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the confrontation. Corben’s post appears to show video of a screen playing police body-camera footage.
Shocked and angered
The director of the Miami-Dade police department, Alfredo Ramirez, announced about 30 minutes after the video was posted that the department has launched an investigation into the un-named officers’ conduct.
‘I am shocked and angered by a body cam video that I just saw involving one our officers. I’ve immediately initiated an investigation and ordered that the involved officer be relieved of duty,’ Ramirez tweeted in a statement.
‘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,’ the statement continued.
He said that the matter was under investigation and that he’s invited Florida State Attorney for Miami-Dade County Katherine Fernandez Rundle to join the inquiry, NBC News reports.
‘This will not stand and I assure our community that any officer acting in this vain will be held to account,’ Ramirez added.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez called the incident ‘appalling’ and ‘unnecessary.’
‘It’s excessive use of force and unnecessary. That’s NOT what our @MiamiDadePD are trained to do,’ he tweeted.
It remained unclear why the officer who seemingly was being taunted and impinged upon resorted to overt physical violence – as nothing in the video suggested the man was in imminent danger.
To date, nobody in the video has been publicly identified.