Florida cop fired for punching woman in the face after she screams, 'you Black, you acting like you’re White'
Antonio Clemente Rodriguez, the Black officer of Puerto Rican heritage also forced the woman to the ground at Miami International Airport
MIAMI, FLORIDA: Shocking new body cam footage shows a Florida cop punching a Black woman in the face at the Miami International Airport. The incident was captured on an officer's body camera and features an African-American woman who is seen facing two officers and yelling at one of them.
She is then seen getting very close up to the officers' face, Daily Mail reports. The woman can be heard yelling at the man, "I really should. You Black, you acting like you’re White but you’re really Black. What’re you gonna do?" The officer then suddenly punches the woman right in the face. The video clearly shows one of the officers putting his hands on the woman and forcing her to the ground while officers in the background are heard exclaiming "Woah, Woah". Another officer is seen rushing in to intervene as does another officer behind the body camera that was recording the altercation.
Watch the video here.
The officer who socked the woman in the face is heard claiming, "she headbutted me." It is currently not clear what the argument had been about. A law enforcement insider shared that the woman had been complaining loudly regarding a missed or delayed flight. A ticket agent had then called the police who had tried to calm the woman down but the situation had escalated and had become violent. According to the Miami Herald, sources identified the officer as Antonio Clemente Rodriguez who is a Black officer of Puerto Rican heritage.
The video was shared on Twitter and has resulted in the Miami Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez announcing an investigation into the incident. He also said that he had ordered officers involved to be relieved of duty. Ramirez said, "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," he added. "This will not stand, and I assure our community that any officer acting in this vain will be held to account," he continued. Ramirez revealed that he also asked the State Attorney Kathy Rundle to join the investigation.
Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez condemned the video and slammed it as 'appalling' and an 'unnecessary excessive use of force'. Gimenez said, "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."
Social media users were left with mixed views at the video and commented on the same. Many said the woman got what was coming to her while others said that violence was never an option.
One such user shared, "Cop will be shocked when he finds out he was videoed. The first thing taught in most academies is RESTRAINT! Not necessarily to protect civilians but to keep their jobs. I’ll be shocked but not surprised if he’s not suspended. And fired when he lies about the incident. He’ll lie."
Another wrote, "He shouldn't of done that and it's unprofessional, plus was quite a punch... also though, you can't say he wasn't provoked, doesn't make it legal or right. She stepped to him, got in his face (w/o mask), questioned his race... that's not right either."