A Miami-Dade Police officer has been charged after violently arresting a Black woman, then allegedly giving false statements about the incident.
Officer Alejandro Giraldo was arrested Thursday, May 2, and faces charges of official misconduct and battery, Miami station WPLG reported.
The charges stem from a March incident where Giraldo has responded to a 911 call by Dyma Loving, 26, who called for help after being threatened by a friend’s neighbor. At some point, Giraldo and Loving got into an argument and witness video showed the moment the cop shoved Loving into a fence before grabbing her by the head and wrestling her to the ground.
“Do not touch me! Do not touch me!” Loving says as police try to take her down.
After an internal investigation, police determined there was no basis for the woman’s arrest. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has since moved forward in filing criminal charges against Giraldo.
“After taking the sworn statements … and reviewing all the known video evidence, we believe that there is sufficient evidence to charge a violation of Florida’s criminal statutes,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Giraldo was relieved of duty earlier this year after video of the March 5 incident was widely circulated across social media. Miami-Dade County Police Director Juan Perez called the officer’s arrest “disappointing” and said it “overshadows the hard work of the dedicated men and women of law enforcement.”
“This particular case underscores our commitment to cooperate and work together with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office in our continued effort to hold ourselves accountable,” Perez added.
The incident unfolded after Loving and her friend, Adrianna Green, called police about a neighbor who hurled racist insults at Loving and brandished a gun before threatening to shoot her “burnt black-ass face off.” Four police officers arrived at the scene and spoke to the women about the incident.
Loving and Green were told to stay put as officers headed to the neighbor’s house to interview him about the claims, according to a police report. That’s when Giraldo and a sixth cop arrived and began interrogating them. Loving told the Miami New Times earlier this year that Giraldo was “rude and aggressive from the get-go” and that she didn’t appreciate him questioning them as if they were the suspects.
A war of words ensued and ultimately ended with Loving’s arrest, which Green captured on video.
Prosecutors are now rebutting the officer’s reasoning for arresting Loving, saying there was no evidence to his support his claims that Loving refused to obey his commands, was “uncooperative” and shouted at officers.
In sworn statements, other officers said Loving didn’t speak aggressively or behave in a way that could have been seen as a threat to the officers’ safety, a police reported stated.
“Giraldo knowingly and intentionally caused harm to Ms. Loving,” prosecutors wrote in their report.
The Miami woman was initially charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer, both of which were later dropped. Loving is now pursing a civil lawsuit against Giraldo.
Her attorney, Justin Moore, lauded the state attorney’s office for bringing charges against the officer and said his client is relieved after hearing of his arrest. The pair expressed disappointment with the severity of the charges, however, adding that the other officers involved should face punishment for their actions.
“[Loving] does believe that the battery she experienced that day should’ve amounted to a felony and that other officers present, including but not limited to Officer J.F. Calderon should be facing similar charges,” Moore told WPLG.
“It is more than reasonable that they meet the same scrutiny that Officer Giraldo has received,” he added.
An attorney for Giraldo, Andre Rouviere, criticized the criminal charges against his client, calling it a “rush to judgment.”
“Of the 35 body worn cameras and videos that were available, the media was shown only a small handful in which to present to the public,” Rouviere said in a statement to ABC News, arguing that the state attorney’s office had bowed to “the pressure of a signature gathering campaign pushing for the filing of charges against Officer Giraldo.”
Giraldo was booked into jail on Tuesday but has since been released
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