Evidence of police misconduct truly does not get more clear-cut than in Dyma Loving's case. On March 5, the 26-year-old called Miami-Dade Police and said she had been minding her business when her 50-year-old white neighbor, Frank Tumm, pointed a shotgun at her and threatened to shoot her "burnt black-ass face" off her neck. Body-camera footage showed that instead of helping her, MDPD Officer Alejandro Giraldo needlessly tackled Loving to the ground and charged her with disorderly conduct.
Loving has already sued MDPD and the officers involved, but some local activists say that's not enough. Two activist groups — Color of Change and UltraViolet — have announced they will march to Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office today to deliver more than 50,000 petition signatures demanding the cop be charged with assault.
"When the video dropped, Giraldo was suspended from the Miami-Dade police department, but this is not enough," Color of Change's petition reads. "Police officers will continue to believe this behavior is acceptable as long as no action is taken to hold them responsible."
A black woman Called Miami-Dade Police For Help After A Man Brandished A Weapon and threaten her life. Yet, She Was Arrested for being distraught pic.twitter.com/xQ2vvDZZsW— Brother Tyrone X (@tyrone345345) March 13, 2019
Loving previously told New Times the incident has scared her from ever calling the cops again. Giraldo, astoundingly, is a field training officer, which means he teaches other MDPD cops how to act in public. But after Loving reported that Tumm had nearly murdered her and another friend, Giraldo reacted to Loving's distress by telling her she "needed to be corrected" before tackling her. Giraldo also callously suggested Loving needed to be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
"He was so rude and aggressive from the get-go," Loving previously told New Times. "He kept telling me I needed to calm down, but I was so scared at that moment."
The activists will meet at Rundle's office at noon today to make a show of delivering the petitions. Rundle has a longstanding reputation for going easy on problematic cops (especially violent ones), and the groups hope a press conference will spark Rundle to take action.
While Color of Change's petition demands the state lock up Giraldo, the petition from UltraViolet calls for MDPD to fire him as soon as possible.
"Giraldo is a danger to the public, and can't be trusted to serve or protect," the document reads. "If we all speak out right away, we can shine a national spotlight on their department and make sure they act."
Similar issues are playing out right now in Broward County after Broward Sheriff's Office Sgt. Greg LaCerra was filmed pepper-spraying a group of teens and body-slamming one black teenager onto the pavement. The high-schoolers had been congregating outside a McDonald's in Tamarac to watch a fistfight go down. After LaCerra body-slammed one of the teens, BSO Deputy Christopher Krickovich then banged another kid's head into the ground and punched the teen in the face.
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The clips generated national outrage. LeBron James said the videos "hurt me to my soul." Miami resident and actress Gabrielle Union said her children with husband Dwyane Wade also go to school in Broward County and that she felt rage and fear for them after watching the footage.
"There better be swift punishment against these officers," she tweeted. "If you believe in 'bad apples,' I need alllll the good apples to STAND UP and start hollering."
Our boys go to school in Broward county... man listen The RAGE, the fear, but yall the RAGE... There better be swift punishment against these officers. If you believe in "bad apples" I need alllll the good apples to STAND UP and start hollering https://t.co/UdMnrsVCvA— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) April 20, 2019
In response, longtime Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz has opened an investigation into the officers' conduct.