Twelve Times Miami's Police Union President Embarrassed the City

A former Miami-Dade security guard is suing Miami Police's outspoken union president, Lt. Javier Ortiz, for wrongful arrest.EXPAND
A former Miami-Dade security guard is suing Miami Police's outspoken union president, Lt. Javier Ortiz, for wrongful arrest.
via City of Miami Police

City of Miami Police Lt. Javier Ortiz was temporarily suspended this week. He was stripped of his gun and will be forced to fill out paperwork for the foreseeable future, thanks to a restraining order a county judge granted against him by a woman he'd harassed on Facebook.

Ortiz runs the department's police union, Lodge 20 of the Fraternal Order of Police, and has worked diligently to turn himself into one of the most powerful members of Miami's law-enforcement community. Ortiz is also the sort of person who cyberstalked and harassed a private woman, Claudia Castillo, in 2016, after she caught a Miami-Dade County cop speeding and scolded him (politely) on video. Ortiz posted her personal cell phone number online and told people to call her and harass her. He also accused Castillo (wrongly) of drunk boating, and literally called her boyfriend a deadbeat who doesn't pay his child support. He was reprimanded by the department and the independent Civilian Investigative Panel.

But at after a CIP hearing this week about the doxing charges, Castillo says Ortiz followed her out of the building. Once she got a police escort to protect her, she says Ortiz creepily started at her through an open window as she drove away. She said she's scared of him, so she filed for a restraining order.

According to Miami PD policy, any cop with an active restraining order loses his or her gun, and has to sit at a desk until the order is quashed.

For police-reform advocates, his suspension this week is a long time coming. Ortiz has been accused of litany of misdeeds over the years, to the point that many cops within his own union have said they dislike the guy. To recap, here's a running list:

1. Doxing a private woman for no reason

2. Defending the cops who shot Terrence Crutcher

3. Defending the cops who shot Alton Sterling

4. Calling a dead 12-year-old boy a "thug"

5. Drawing a demon's face on a mugshot of a black person

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6. Implying the Assistant Chief of Police didn't salute the flag because she was "maybe Muslim" (she's not)

7. Saying an 18-year-old graffiti artist whom cops Tasered to death somehow deserved it

8. Writing a false report after a group of cops Tasered an innocent man at Ultra Music Festival

9. Storming into a City Commission meeting with a group of fellow cops in protest, thereby terrifying city officials, who feared it was some sort of armed coup. (With zero hint of self-awareness, he later called nonviolent anti-Trump protesters crybabies.)

10. Smearing a woman who posted a video of police misconduct

11. Starting a "We Support Darren Wilson" Facebook page, only for that page to become a vehicle for racist bile

12. And, of course, picking a fight with Beyoncé for referencing the Black Panthers at the Super Bowl.


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