A Miami-Dade police officer has been “relieved of duty” after a viral video showed him sucker-punching a black woman following a dispute at the airport on Wednesday.
The video, shared on Instagram and Twitter by filmmaker Billy Corben, shows the woman arguing with the officer, who is also black. She gets in the officer’s face and says: “You’re black. You’re acting like you’re white, but you’re really black. … What you gonna do?”
That’s when the officer rears back and sucker-punches the woman. With the assistance of another officer, he tackles her to the ground and handcuffs her.
Shortly after the video was posted, the director of the Miami-Dade police department, Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III, announced on Twitter he had relieved the officers of duty and launched an investigation.
“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,” Ramirez wrote. “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. I have also just spoken to our State Attorney @KathyFndzRundle and asked that her office immediately become involved in the investigation.”
Mayor Carlos A. Giminez also issued a statement.
“This is appalling. It’s excessive use of force and unnecessary,” Gimenez wrote. “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.”
Neither the officers nor the victim have been publicly identified.