A Miami-Dade police officer has been relieved from duty for hitting a black woman in the face during an altercation Wednesday night at Miami International Airport.
What are the details?
In a video obtained by the Miami Herald, a black woman can be seen approaching a black police officer in one of the airport’s terminals.
It is unclear what occurs before the video picks up, but the woman can be heard taunting the black officer, “You acting like you white when you really black. … What you wanna do?”
The unnamed cop can be seen speaking to the woman when she steps closer to the officer and puts her face in his.
She’s there for just seconds when the officer hits her in the face and knocks her over.
A scuffle ensues following the strike, and amid the melee, a male can be heard saying, “She headbutted me!” as officers handcuff the unnamed woman.
A law enforcement source told the outlet that the woman had been “loudly” complaining about a flight inconvenience when a ticketing agent phoned authorities. When the officers showed up and attempted to diffuse the situation, the woman began shouting at the officer and taunting him over his race.
What’s happening now?
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Police Director Alfredo Ramirez called for Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to investigate the possible use of force in the incident.
“I am shocked and angered by a body cam video that I just saw involving one of our officers,” Ramirez wrote on Twitter. “I’ve immediately initiated an investigation and ordered that the involved officers be relieved of duty.”
In a statement, Steadman Stahl — president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association — said that the officer struck the woman with an “open-hand slap,” used as a “diversionary strike.”
“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.”