Miami police chief speaks about fight between officer, lieutenant
Updated On: Jul 16 2014 06:50:00 PM EDT
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa released a statement Wednesday regarding a fight between two cops that has gained attention across South Florida.
Orosa said he reassigned Lt. David Ramras from the Internal Affairs Unit in order to ensure there is no influence from anyone into the investigation.
Meanwhile, he said Officer Marcel Jackson was relieved of duty with pay because he failed to "preserve evidence and public records."
Video recorded from Jackson’s personal GoPro camera showed him pulling over Ramras for speeding.
It then showed Jackson throw Ramras to the ground after Ramras tried to force his way out of the car.
Orosa said Ramras immediately showed Jackson his police badge and told Jackson that he needed to shave since Jackson was sporting a beard, which is against the department's policy.
Jackson allegedly cursed at Ramras, and Ramras then attempted to exit his car.
"It is a bit ironic that in January we asked officers to wear a body camera as a study for the possible purchase of some for the entire department, and Jackson was one of the officers who refused," said Orosa.
The police chief said the department has learned that Jackson has been recording many of his traffic stops with citizens that the police department had no knowledge of.
"A citizen has the right to request those recordings to prove their innocence," said Orosa. "The department could be found in violation of the State Public Records Retention laws because of Jackson’s actions."
Investigators determined Ramras was speeding nine miles over the limit when he was pulled over.
Local 10's John Turchin spoke with former Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito to get his take on the incident.
"I get the impression that the lieutenant did a bad job of identifying himself before he made a move to get out of the car," said Exposito.
Exposito also questioned the statements released by Orosa.
"A chief needs to be fair and impartial, but more important than that is they have to give the appearance of fairness and impartiality -- and Chief Orosa does not do that in this case," said Exposito.
The investigation is being reviewed by the State Attorney's Office and the police department's Special Investigations Section.