A South Florida police officer has been relieved of duty after a video surfaced showing a woman being placed in a headlock and thrown to the ground after she called police about being assaulted with a firearm.
The video posted to social media captures the Miami-Dade officer saying that the woman, identified as Dyma Loving, 26, “needs to be corrected,” apparently for how she was dealing with the officers. She’s then seen forcefully taken down onto the sidewalk, handcuffed, taken into custody and arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting an officer, according to a police report.
Loving told HuffPost in a telephone interview Thursday that following the Miami incident, she won’t be able to “see police officers the same.”
“None of them,” she added. “Because I literally called [them] for help with my life and that’s how [they] treated me. ... [They] beat me up.”
Loving said the March 5 situation was under control with other officers on the scene. But then, she said, the one officer showed up as a backup and began arguing with her and her friend, Adrianna Green, 22.
Loving said the officer, identified in the arrest report as A.I. Giraldo, told her to calm down and refused to allow her to go charge her cell phone so she could call her daughter.
“How do you think I’m going to talk when I almost died?” Loving told HuffPost, referring to the incident that spurred the call for police help. “I’m not going to talk calm.”
Green, who filmed the incident on her cell phone, backed up Loving’s account to HuffPost.
“Why should my friend be arrested for telling the cops what was going on,” she said in a separate phone interview. “We were just telling them the situation and it was her adrenalin going.”
Loving is heard on the video telling Giraldo, “Why do I have to be corrected when my life was just threatened” by a neighbor with a shotgun.
Police Department Director Juan Perez, responding to the video in a statement on Wednesday, called the depicted actions “deeply troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect, service and fairness.”
Giraldo, identified by the department as a field training officer, has been relieved of duty and the incident is being investigated, Perez said.
Upon the probe’s completion, “I will hold those that violated any of our policies and/or procedures accountable for their actions or lack thereof,” he said.
Loving, reacting to news of Giraldo’s suspension, called it not good enough.
“He needs to be outright fired. Everything about that was wrong,” she said.
According to a police report obtained by HuffPost, officers were called to the scene after the women said they were threatened on the sidewalk by a neighbor during a verbal altercation.
The neighbor “turned around and he just pulled out his shotgun on us,” Green, who has a 1-year-old child, told HuffPost. “He’s actually threatened to shoot my brother in the back, multiple times. I know he has guns. I’ve seen the guns. He goes hunting.”
A witness initially denied that the man pulled a gun on the women but later retracted that statement to police, according to the police report.
The charges Loving faces are misdemeanors.
Giraldo described Loving in the police report as “acting belligerent” and refusing to obey commands before he wrapped “both of his arms around her upper body,” which allowed him to “bring her down to the ground.”
Green is heard in the video questioning the officers about Loving’s arrest and is told it’s for not following orders.
“He was giving her orders and saying that she was being disorderly,” an unidentified female officer tells Green. “She needs to calm down and do as he says.”
Giraldo, when later confronted by Green about his use of physical force, appears to deny being in the wrong, telling her that he “could have just tased her.”
Loving said she was examined at a hospital for injuries to her neck sustained during her arrest. “I thought he crushed my throat,” she told HuffPost. “I couldn’t talk for three days. Even now it hurts a little bit to talk.”
She said she also has swelling to her arm and is unable to bend over because of a sore back.