“I am shocked and angered by a body cam video that i [sic] just saw involving one of our officers. I’ve immediately initiated an investigation and ordered that the involved officers be relieved of duty,” Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez III said in a Twitter thread on Wednesday night.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel identified the victim as 21-year-old Paris Anderson and the assailant as Officer Anthony Rodriguez. However, the Miami Herald referred to the officer as Antonio Rodriguez.
Video of the incident was posted to Twitter by documentarian Billy Corben and shows a maskless Anderson approaching Rodriguez in the airport terminal. It’s unclear what caused the dispute.
“You acting like you white when you really Black. Don’t walk up on me, for real. What you want to do?” asks Anderson, who is then suddenly punched in the face by Rodriguez. Other officers then swarm to take down the 21-year-old, who was still standing after the man’s punch.
“She head-butted me,” Rodriguez is later overheard claiming, although it's not clear that occurred, judging from the footage.
Anderson was then arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and battery on an officer.
“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,” Ramirez declared in his Wednesday post.
“This will not stand, and I assure our community that any officer acting in this vain will be held to account.”
A follow-up email to the Miami New Times, the police director clarified that only Rodriguez was relieved of his duties, rather than all the officers involved in the altercation.
Furthermore, Ramirez has requested that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle investigate the officer’s use of force in the situation.
This is appalling. It’s excessive use of force and unnecessary. 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. https://t.co/KHDsEohBym— Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) July 2, 2020
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez also commented on the video and declared that there had been an “unnecessary” and “excessive use of force” by officers.