North Miami High Principal Removed After Defending Texas Cop in Abuse Video

The Principal of North Miami Senior High School, Alberto Iber, has been removed from the job a day after a comment he made about Friday's incident between police officers and black youths in McKinney, Texas, was passed around online.

“Judgment is the currency of honesty,” Miami-Dade schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a news release announcing Iber’s ouster. “Insensitivity — intentional or perceived — is both unacceptable and inconsistent with our policies, but more importantly with our expectation of common sense behavior that elevates the dignity and humanity of all, beginning with children.”

Iber made his controversial comment regarding a Miami Herald story about the McKinney incident caught on video. He defended the officer involved, who has since resigned over the case.  

On Saturday, a YouTube video surfaced showing white McKinney police officer David Eric Casebolt responding to reports of fighting at a local pool party. In the video, Casebolt is seen wrestling a black teen to the ground and waving his gun at a group of boys. The episode incited an intense backlash — just the latest in a series of incidents involving abusive treatment of minorities by white cops across the nation.

But in the comments section of a Herald story about the incident, Iber defended the officer.

“He did nothing wrong,” Iber wrote Monday. “He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions.”

Screen shots of Iber’s comments began to circulate online, causing widespread criticism. The student body at his school is 99 percent minority, mostly black.

Among those angered by the post was Ambrose Sims, a retired Miami Beach Police veteran. Below Iber's comment, Sims wrote, “Such a comment reveals to me that you’re a serious part of the problem... You clearly don't have a clue.”

When Iber realized his comment had caused outrage, he deleted it. He told New Times yesterday he did not realize the comment was linked to Facebook and would show his picture, name, and title.

“I regret that I posted the comment, as it apparently upset people and became newsworthy,” Iber said. “It was not my intent.”

Yesterday, the McKinney officer, Casebolt, resigned. The city's police chief called his actions "indefensible."

And now North Miami Senior High School is looking for a new principal. 

"I have nothing but praise for Superintendent Carvalho," Sims says. "I have regard for the First Amendment, but it's happened so often that people make comments online without any regard for the possible consequences. It's a lesson for everyone in a public position. You should be prepared to get a reaction."
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jessica Weiss