Javier Ortiz, the controversial Miami Police captain who claimed he is Black due to the one-drop rule, has been suspended from the force.
Ortiz was suspended indefinitely with pay on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported. Ronald Papier, deputy police chief, said the suspension was “pending an investigation” but would not elaborate.
Ortiz, who oversaw Miami police’s SWAT division, developed a reputation due to his outspoken and controversial behavior. On Jan. 17, he insisted he was a Black man during a Miami City Commission meeting.
“I’m a black male,” Ortiz stated. “Yes, I am. And I am not Hispanic. I was born in this country. That’s how I feel.”
To bolster his argument, Ortiz evoked the “one-drop rule.” He also used the term “negro” while talking to Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who is Black.
“Oh no, you’re blacker than me — that’s obvious,” Ortiz told Commissioner Hardemon. “And if you know anything about the one-drop rule, which started in the 20th century, which is what identifies and defines what a black male is, or a Negro, you would know that if you have one drop of black in you, you’re considered black.”
This isn’t the first time Ortiz, who is of Cuban descent, claimed he was Black. In 2014 and 2017, he lied about his race in police documents.
Despite this, Ortiz also has a history of making offensive commentary online. He argued the 2016 police killing of Oklahoma man Terrance Crutcher was “justified.” After 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by police for playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park, Ortiz wrote “act like a thug and you’ll be treated like one.”
His shenanigans are not relegated to the internet. In February 2016, Ortiz tried to organize a boycott of a Beyoncé concert after her Super Bowl performance during which she paid tribute to the Black Panther Party. According to The Miami New Times, he pointed a gun at former NFL player Jonathan Vilma during a 2009 traffic stop and arrested him for a bogus reason. In 2017, he falsely accused New York Jets player Robby Anderson of shoving him and took the athlete into custody. Charges in both cases were dropped.
Ortiz has been mum about the suspension. The Fraternal Order of Police, reluctantly, plans to back him.
“I am embarrassed and saddened by Javier’s public comments,” said union president Tommy Reyes. “He can identify however he’d like, but I do not believe he is a black male. Ultimately, when the time comes it will be up to our members if he will receive representation.”