Civil rights activists have been begging Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for weeks to arrest county police officer Alejandro Giraldo, who was filmed brutally arresting Dyma Loving, a woman who was simply trying to report that a man had threatened to murder her with a shotgun.
Today, Rundle's office finally announced the state is taking action. Prosecutors have charged Giraldo with one count of misdemeanor battery and felony official misconduct. Bond has been set at $5,500.
"After taking the sworn statements of Ms. Dyma Loving, Ms. Adrianna Green, all the other available witnesses, and reviewing all the known video evidence, we believe that there is sufficient evidence to charge a violation of Florida’s criminal statutes," Rundle's office said this afternoon in a media release.
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's case is one of the more blatant instances of police misconduct to emerge in quite some time. Around 10 a.m. March 5, the 26-year-old Loving and her friend Adrianna Green were walking around their South Miami-Dade neighborhood when, they say, a 50-year-old neighbor, Frank Tumm, whipped out a shotgun and threatened to shoot Loving's "burnt black ass face" off of her body. The women say Tumm pointed the shotgun at them.
Naturally, Loving called the cops to report the incident. But when MDPD officers arrived, Giraldo treated Loving like the aggressor rather than the victim. Giraldo — a field-training officer who mentored other cops — implied Loving should be committed to a mental institution before saying she "needed to be corrected, if anything."
It was all caught on video that confirmed Loving at no point acted violently toward the officer. But without warning, Giraldo grabbed Loving by the wrist and forced her to the ground.
Amazingly, the cops let Tumm walk. MDPD didn't arrest him until March 15 — two days after the video went viral.
Loving has since sued the police department, but she and her lawyers have steadfastly maintained that a lawsuit wouldn't be enough to right the wrong she felt was done to her. On April 23, two activist groups delivered more than 50,000 petitions to Rundle's office demanding Giraldo be arrested.
Following the announcement, Loving's lawyer, Justin Moore, released a statement demanding that every officer involved in the case be treated the same as Giraldo.
"We want to applaud the State Attorney’s Office for seeking formal charges for Officer Alejandro Giraldo, the lead perpetrator of the crimes committed against Dyma Loving," Moore said. "It is well known that police officers rarely face criminal liability for criminal behavior in this country. And although Dyma has expressed relief that Officer Giraldo has been charged for his abhorrent behavior on March 5, 2019, she does believes that the battery she experienced that day should have amounted to a felony and that other officers present, including but not limited to Officer J.F. Calderon, should be facing similar charges. Furthermore, the fact is that the other officers involved in Dyma's arrest assisted Officer Giraldo and drafted police reports detailing the incident; it is more than reasonable that they meet the same scrutiny that Officer Giraldo has received."
This is a breaking story. This post will be updated.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.