A Miami-Dade cop who was filmed violently arresting a Black woman after she called authorities for help has been convicted of felony battery and official misconduct.
According to the Associated Press, Alejandro Giraldo was placed on suspension after a video of the March 2019 confrontation was shared on social media. In the footage, the Hispanic cop was seen tackling Dyma Loving after she called police to report a neighbor who had allegedly pointed a shotgun at her. The violent arrest was also captured on police body cameras. And Loving was in handcuffs at the time she was tackled.
“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,” prosecutor Tim VanderGiesen said.
But the convicted officer claimed his actions were lawful and the Black victim was getting in the way of an investigation. “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,” Giraldo’s attorney Andre Rouviere told jurors.
“When he arrested Dyma Loving, it was after warning after warning that she was being disruptive.”
Loving was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence in the aftermath of the incident, the Associated Press reported. But authorities ultimately dropped those charges.
Prosecutors also claimed the arrest report wrongly alleged that Loving was “causing a scene and was “uncooperative” during the encounter. But Giraldo’s defense attorney denied those claims.
“We thought that we had established that they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt the charges, but I guess the jury saw it a different way, and we have to accept the jury’s verdict,” Rouviere said after Giraldo’s conviction on Thursday.
Giraldo, who is yet to be sentenced, faces up to five years in prison. At least nine police officers in the county the incident occurred have pending trials over allegedly battering suspects while on duty, per the Miami Herald.