Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez has relieved officer Alejandro I. Giraldo of his duties after he watched the video of Giraldo and other officers violently arrest a black woman who had called 911 in fear after being threatened by a man with a gun.
Dyma Loving, 26, and her friend Adriana Green, 22, called 911 after a neighbor allegedly harassed them and then threatened to shoot them. Miami-Dade Police responded.
But what is seen in the video Loving posted to Facebook is the disturbing and violent arrest, not of the man who she said threatened her, but of Loving. She said she also had her daughter with her.
The video begins with a measured voice asking the police to “please calm down.”
Next, an officer is heard saying, “She needs to be corrected if anything.”
Loving asks, “Why do I have to be corrected when my life and my daughter’s life was just threatened?”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Reports Corroborate Loving’s Account: A White Man Harassed Her & Green & Pulled a Gun on Them When They ‘Responded in a Way he Didn’t Like’
“So yesterday me and my friend Adri Green were minding our business and this white male began to harass us as we walked up the street when we responded in a way he didn’t like he pulled a gun out in my face and told me he would shoot my burnt black ass face off my neck,” Loving wrote on her Facebook post.
The incident occurred on March 6.
Five or more officers responded and spoke with Loving, Green and the man. Then, Officer Alejandro Giraldo rolls up and the tenor changes, Loving told the Miami New Times.
“He started interrogating us like we were the suspects. I asked if he could escort us back to my friend’s house so I could put my phone on a charger and call my children. I had just had my life threatened and was terrified. He was so rude and aggressive from the get-go. He kept telling me I needed to calm down, but I was so scared at that moment,” she told the outlet.
2. Loving Called 911 on the Man With the Gun. Police Arrived & it Was Loving Who Was Arrested
“I called the police and instead of them checking him and getting him together me and my friend gets interrogated like we are the ones with the gun then I ask if I can just go in the house to charge my phone.! Officer #7839 came 3rd car to the scene acting as if because he has a badge he’s oh so bad talking down upon us and acting like what we went through didn’t matter. My emotions were high I had a barrel in my face and I just wanted to talk to my kids. The officer was acting completely ignorant and hostile towards us so I felt pressure.! He said I needed to be Vaporacted or whatever which means sent to a mental hospital because I was in shock!”
When she writes the officer said she should be “vaporacted” may be a reference to what in Florida is called the Baker Act, when police take an unstable person who may, or may not, be committing a crime, into custody and then that person goes before a judge who may hospitalize the person. You can read more about the Baker Act here.
3. Loving Said Officer Giraldo ‘Was Completely Wrong’
In her Facebook post, Loving wrote that “…Giraldo was completely wrong in every aspect in the situation. I clearly didn’t get very loud until he lunged at me and became physical with me.! Anyone whose life was just threatened is going to be fuming idc what you say there is no calm when your adrenaline is going at a million miles per hour.! So instead of the man that pulled a gun out on me going to jail I wind up going to jail for disturbing the peace when my peace was disturbed just by walking down the street, I have to be harassed and my life threatened and for resisting arrest without violence!”
Loving said she was not read her rights. She said she was trying to go inside to charge her phone: “What’s the problem with me going to put my phone on the charger inside a house that isn’t even involved in the investigation?”
She said she was entitled to be “…emotionally stressed after all that happened …”
4. Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department Juan J. Perez Said What he Saw on the Video Was ‘Deeply Troubling’
“I am aware of the concerning video circulating on social media involving our department. I find the actions depicted on the video deeply troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect, service, and fairness. This is why last week, upon becoming aware of the video posted on social media, an immediate inquiry was initiated which resulted in the involved officer being relieved of duty and of his role as a field training officer. An investigation into the entire incident is currently ongoing and upon its conclusion, I will hold those that violated any of our policies and/or procedures accountable for their actions or lack thereof.”
The arresting officers were identified as Giraldo and J.F. Calderon, according to the Miami Herald. The police department is investigating but only Giraldo was relieved of his duties.
Giraldo is a Miami-Dade Police field training officer.
5. The Man Who Pulled the Gun on Loving & Green Was Not Arrested. Loving Said She Was Arrested Because of ‘My Skin Tone’
“…this has to stop there is no way any of this should have happened but because of my skin tone for sure,” Loving wrote.
She said she was “being criminalized and treated like the one with the gun!”
The Miami New Times spoke to witnesses who backed up Loving and Green’s account.
The paper reported that the two young women were on the street outside Green’s house about to go run errands when a neighbor, a 50-year-old white man named Frank Tumm called the women “whores.”
The paper reported that the women initially ignored Tumm but claim the harassment continued. Green threw a plant into his yard. Then, Loving said. Tumm “pulled out a shotgun and said he would ‘shoot my burnt black-ass face off my neck.'”
Terrified, they fled and called 911. And Loving was arrested.