— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 2, 2020
A police officer in Miami, Florida has been “relieved of duty” after he was seen on video striking a woman in the face. He was identified by sources as Antonio Clemente Rodriguez in a Miami Herald report.
Filmmaker Billy Corben published the footage online. It shows a woman and a two Miami-Dade police officers. She is arguing with one of them in particular.
Things escalate. The woman began to get more visibly heated.
“You acting like you white when you really Black?” she said. “What you going to do?” (Sources cited by the Herald said that Rodriguez is Black and has a Puerto Rican background.)
The officer struck the woman square in the face. Police took her to the ground and began to handcuff her hands behind her back as the video cuts off.
The woman’s name is Paris Anderson, 21, according to an arrest report obtained by WPLG-TV. Officers said they got a call Tuesday about a woman behind the counter of an American Airlines re-booking desk threatening employees.
According to Rodriguez, who wrote the report, an airline supervisor said that Anderson got mad after she arrived late for a Chicago flight and learned the next one would be the following morning. Anderson allegedly grabbed her boarding pass from behind the counter and threatened employees when they told her she couldn’t be there.
Rodriguez wrote that Anderson encroached on his personal space, bumped his body, and hit his chin with her head.
But though the woman got quite close to the officer in the video, it doesn’t seem like there’s any obvious physical contact until he punches her. In any case, the officers involved are in trouble.
“I am shocked and angered by a body cam video that i just saw involving one of our officers,” Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez III said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“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.”
He said he’s asked Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to investigate.
“This is appalling,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said. “It’s excessive use of force and unnecessary.”
It’s unclear if Anderson has an attorney in this matter.
Steadman Stahl, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, described Rodriguez’s strike as an “open-hand slap” and defended the officer’s response.
“Clearly she was the aggressor,” he said. “She was being asked to leave. She’s being belligerent and she pushes her face right into his face.”
[Screengrab via Billy Corben]
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