Miami-Dade Police Who Witnessed Violent Arrest Of Black Woman Say She Was Not Disorderly
When Dyma Loving and her friend called Miami-Dade police to report that a neighbor pointed a gun at them, Loving says she thought police officers would investigate and arrest the man who threatened her and her friend.
Instead, Loving was the one who ended up in handcuffs and sent to jail.
“I felt like the suspect,” she said in an interview with WLRN.
Loving’s violent arrest on March 5 was caught on police body cameras and a cell phone video that went viral. She was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.
But since then, all charges against Loving were dropped and the officer who arrested her, Detective Alejandro Giraldo, is now the one facing charges: battery and official misconduct for lying on the police report that detailed Loving's arrest.
Miami-Dade police declined an interview request from WLRN, citing their ongoing investigation. WLRN also sent a request through the department to speak with Giraldo, but was told he also cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.
In the arrest warrant that explains Giraldo's arrest, investigators found that statements from his fellow officers on the scene that day and also video footage did not support the claims on Giraldo's police report that Loving was being disorderly.
Video footage show Giraldo, a field training officer with the department, responding to the South Miami-Dade street where Loving was standing with her friend, Adriana Green, on the sidewalk. Giraldo was with an officer in training.
Girlado asks Loving and Green about why they called the police. As the women recount what happened, he tells Loving several times to lower her voice and to stop screaming.
“You need to chill out because if not, you’re going to be arrested,” Giraldo says in the video.
At least four other Miami-Dade officers also responded to the scene. Loving can be seen asking a woman officer if she could charge her cell phone to call her children. Again, Giraldo seems to take exception to Loving’s tone of voice and says he can have her Baker Acted, involuntarily committed to a mental health institution.
Loving responds, “Why do I have to be corrected when my life was just threatened and my daughter is sick?”
From there, things escalate quickly. Within six minutes of his arrival, Giraldo grabs Loving by the arm to handcuff her, wraps his arms around her head and yanks her to the ground while Loving screams, “Do not touch me.”
In Giraldo’s police report explaining Loving’s arrest, he wrote, “Ms. Loving was advised that the investigation was interrupted by her screaming and disruptive behavior.” He described Loving as “irate” and “uncooperative.”
However, after seeing the rough arrest and the moments leading up to it on the viral video, Miami-Dade police launched an investigation and suspended Giraldo.
I am aware of the concerning video circulating on social media involving our department. I find the actions depicted on the video deeply troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect, service, and fairness...— Juan Perez (@JPerezMia) March 14, 2019
Miami-Dade Police Chief Juan Perez wrote on his Twitter account, “I find the actions depicted on the video deeply troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect, service, and fairness.”
In sworn statements to investigators, four Miami-Dade police officers who were there the day of the arrest described Loving as calm and said she did not pose a threat or cause a crowd to gather during her interview.
Investigators wrote that the footage captured on the officers' body cameras supported their statements, which contradict what Giraldo wrote in his police report.
Loving, the woman who was arrested in the video, is suing the Miami-Dade County Police Department.
Kyara Herard, one of Loving’s attorneys, says her client had the right to be upset after someone allegedly pointed a gun at her.
“You had a black woman on a video who is experiencing traumatic stress and you take her down and arrest her,” says Herard. “But the person who had a weapon, a weapon that he pulled out at her, you allowed to remain in the community for 10 days.”
Miami-Dade police arrested the white neighbor who Loving and her friend called the police on 10 days later, after Loving’s arrest video went viral.
Herard says based on what she saw from Giraldo’s interaction with Loving on the video, one of the things she’d like to see is better training for officers.
“He was treating her as if she was a disobedient child,” says Heard. “Not a person who had a gun pointed at her, not a person who was experiencing stress, not a person who had their own feelings and emotions that they were going through. He basically was saying to her, ‘This is how I want you to act, you're not acting like that.’”
Loving says she’s still shaken up from her arrest and is now afraid every time she sees a police officer.
“I live around police officers. I can't turn a corner without seeing a police officer and I'm freaking out,” she says.
She described an incident while on the highway recently when she saw a police officer driving behind her car.
“My hands were getting sweaty because it was a state trooper and I was like, 'Oh Lord Jesus,'” she says. “Like, just praying.”