Dyma Loving and her children
Photo: Dyma Loving

Dyma Loving was on her way to do her taxes.

She and friend Adrianna Green were leaving Green’s home when they passed by the house of Frank Tumm, a neighbor. According to a police report filed by Miami-Dade PD, Tumm hurled insults at Green, calling her a “whore” and setting off a verbal spat that escalated when Tumm pulled out a rifle and aimed at Loving.

Hundreds of thousands of people know what happened next.

After Green and Loving called for help, Miami-Dade police violently arrested Loving, dragging her to the ground after saying she needs to be “Baker Acted”—sent to a mental hospital. (Initial reports said the officer told her she needed to be “corrected;” Loving clarified the cop’s comments to the Miami New Times.)

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The disturbing video, which went viral over the last week, spurred Miami-Dade to suspend one of the officers involved. According to Police Director Juan Perez, the suspended cop was tenured and was actually in charge of training two rookies that day.

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But for Loving, the damage had already been done.

I’m just taking it a day at a time,” Loving told The Root over the phone. “My body hurts very bad. My head hurts. I cry all night. I’m just overwhelmed.” 

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Loving, a Detroit native and mother of three young children, now faces the absurd, distinctly American paradox that falls on people involved in brutal police interactions that go viral. On the one hand, she’s glad there’s light being shone on how she was mistreated—“I don’t want [the police] to get away with it,” she said. But the viral video captures one of the most traumatic moments of her life.

“I was treated like absolute trash on camera for the world to see,” she said.

As Loving describes her view of the incident, she makes clear her feelings that Tumm, a white man, targeted her specifically.

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“He told me that he will blow my ‘burnt black face off [you] fucking neck bitch,’” Loving said, adding that Green was “very much” lighter than her.

The move took Loving aback. She described being in shock for a moment, then enraged, throwing Tumm’s plants onto the streets. The 50-year-old man lowered his gun at that point, Loving says, prompting Green to grab her friend and run around the corner, where they called the cops.

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The first police officers on the scene questioned Loving, Green, Tumm and witnesses without incident. It wasn’t until A.I. Giraldo, ultimately, one of the arresting officers, arrived—in the third cop car to respond to the call—when the incident took another turn, Loving says.

“I asked if he could escort me down to Adrienne’s house which was past [Tumm’s home], so I could put my phone on the charger because I wanted to talk to my kids,” Loving recalls. Giraldo flatly refused her request, she says, and then began interrogating her and Green.

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But Loving says the mistreatment didn’t stop after the video ended. She told The Root once she was taken to the police station, she was confined to the car for four hours while waiting to be booked. She was told Giraldo was typing up the police report during that time.

“Why it took him so long? Even the officers that had me in custody didn’t know why,” Loving said.

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She was charged with two misdemeanors, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence, and spent 12 hours in jail before posting a bond of $1,500.

Tumm wasn’t arrested until Thursday, after The Root spoke with Loving. He’s been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to WPLG TV. As for Loving, she recently hired a Texas-based civil rights attorney to represent her.

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Research has found that police killings of unarmed black Americans have a measurable impact on the mental health of black Americans across the country. But incidents of police violence like the one Loving was involved in are far more common, and in some ways, the damage is harder to quantify.

For Loving, one message is clear: The police will not protect her.

“My trust is completely broken,” she said, her voice rising. “I will never call the police again. No. No. I will figure it out.”

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Loving’s two eldest children, ages six and three years old, have both seen the video of their mother being violently arrested; Loving says the video made them sad, and they’ve asked her if she’s okay.

“I try to keep strong for them but I’m in pain. I’m hurt,” Loving says. “I didn’t deserve to be treated like that.”

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“I don’t think it’s ever going to be the same,” she later added. “I don’t have anyone to help and protect me. Nothing.”