A jury was quick to convict a Miami-Dade officer of felony battery and official misconduct for the rough arrest of a Black woman who called the police for help in March 2019, according to the Associated Press.
Cellphone video of Officer Alejandro Giraldo’s arrest circulated on social media back in March 2019 which resulted in him being suspended. The video shows him tackling Dyma Loving who called the police to report that her neighbor pointed a shotgun at her.
The prosecutor in the case, Tim VanderGiesen, said according to the Associated Press, “Police officers can put their hands on people to effectuate a lawful arrest. If the arrest is unlawful, they have no more rights than the rest of us. And he sure as heck can’t tackle her to the ground.”
But, Giraldo believed that he was lawful in his arrest of Loving, who he claims was interfering with the investigation.
Giraldo’s attorney said, “What you see there isn’t a crime. What you see there is a police officer working the streets, dealing with a situation and maybe his bedside manner was off,” according to the Associated Press.
Since the summer of 2020, there has been an overwhelming number of police brutality cases, but the officers accused of using excessive or deadly force against Black people have rarely been charged.
But in this case, the jury did not go along with the trend.
From the Associated Press:
Giraldo, who is Hispanic, faces up to five years in prison at sentencing. The jury consisted of two Black women, one Hispanic woman and three Hispanic men.
The video sparked outrage in a county where at least nine police officers from four different police agencies are awaiting trial on allegations they battered suspects while on duty, the Miami Herald reported. Three other officers have been acquitted since 2019 in excessive force cases…
In Giraldo’s case, video showed him pushing Loving into a fence and then taking her to the ground, where she was handcuffed. Loving was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence. Those charges were later dropped.
Prosecutors argued that the arrest report inaccurately said Loving was “causing a scene” and being “uncooperative,” according to the Associated Press.
But, Giraldo’s attorneys in response said it was Loving and another woman were out of control.