Florida officer fired after bodycam shows him hitting woman

Florida officer fired after bodycam shows him hitting woman

Florida officer fired after bodycam shows him hitting woman

MIAMI — A Florida police officer is losing his job after he struck a woman who was yelling at him inside a terminal at Miami International Airport.

A bodycam video, posted on Twitter by South Florida filmmaker Billy Corben, shows the face mask-wearing Miami-Dade police officer speaking to the woman inside the terminal on Wednesday.

The African American woman, who was not wearing a face mask, becomes irate, saying, “You acting like you white when you really Black. … What you want to do?” She approaches the officer, and puts her face right next to his, the video shows. The officer then punches her in the face.

A police report states that the woman struck the officer on the chin with her face before he hit her.

“She headbutted me,” the officer says on the video as his colleagues rush in to handcuff the woman.

The report did not identify either the woman or the officer.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez said Thursday that he had decided to fire the officer after reviewing the results of an investigation into his conduct. Ramirez said he has asked Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to investigate the use of force.

“The MDPD holds itself accountable for its actions, and this is just another example of our commitment to do just that,” Ramirez said.

The Miami Herald reported that the woman was loudly complaining about a missed or delayed flight and a ticket agent called police. The officer arrived and began talking to the woman but the confrontation escalated when she began shouting at him, the newspaper report said.

Steadman Stahl, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, was quoted by the newspaper as saying the officer hit the woman with an “open-hand slap,” which is also called called a “diversionary strike.”

“Clearly she was the aggressor,” Stahl said. “She was being asked to leave. She’s being belligerent and she pushes her face right into his face.”

Protests against police brutality involving Black people roiled the nation for weeks following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. A white Minneapolis officer was later charged with murder after pressing a knee into Floyd’s neck during an arrest.

In Florida, body camera footage released this week shows police officers laughing and celebrating after shooting protesters with rubber bullets during a May protest against police brutality in Fort Lauderdale.

The Fort Lauderdale police department posted the video, taken from the body camera of Detective Zachary Baro, on its official YouTube channel Wednesday. Baro was leading the department’s SWAT team unit on May 31.

At one point in the video, Baro can be heard saying, “Beat it” and using a profanity after officers shot other projectiles that are less potentially lethal than rubber bullets.

Also in Fort Lauderdale, Officer Steven Pohorence was charged with battery Tuesday for shoving a kneeling woman to the ground during a protest.

Last week, ex-Miami Gardens police officer Jordy Martel was charged with battery after putting his knee on the neck of a woman and shooting her twice with a stun gun during a confrontation in January.

___

This story has been edited to correct the spelling of Billy Corben’s last name.

Associated Press, The Associated Press

Police

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Catherine Hay. Photo Submitted
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Monday that11 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,447. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

World Juniors’ referee Mike Langin makes a called during the Canada vs. Slovakia at the 2021 World Junior Championship at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)
Former Sylvan Lake man lives his dream at World Junior Championships

Mike Langin was one the 25 Canadian officials who worked during the tournament

Indigenous people gather for a ceremony for Cindy Gladue held at the courthouse in Edmonton, Alta, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Bradley Barton, a 52-year-old long-haul truck driver from Ontario on trial for manslaughter, is accused of killing Gladue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
People stand in support of mother as new trial gets underway in death of Cindy Gladue

Bradley Barton, a long-haul truck driver from Ontario, will now be tried for manslaughter in the 2011 death

(Photo submitted)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

Most Read