Miami-Dade police director tries to win back trust of public after rough arrest
Director Juan Perez outlines departmental changes at meeting
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Video of a South Florida woman's rough arrest has eroded trust in law enforcement for some people.
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez was trying to win that trust back as the county's top cop addressed the incident before the county Community Relations Board.
The video of Miami-Dade police Officer Alejandro Giraldo pushing a woman against a fence and then onto the ground put him in hot water.
He was relieved of duty earlier this month and was forced to turn in his badge and gun after arresting Dyma Loving, who initially called police to say a neighbor threatened her and a friend with a shotgun.
"This was a troubling video that was shown out there, and obviously we agreed it was troubling and that's why we took action," Perez said.
In the three weeks since the incident, Perez said the situation has eroded the trust between the southwest Miami-Dade community where it happened and law enforcement.
On Wednesday, the issue was front and center at the county Community Relations Board meeting.
"We don't train our officers like that," Perez said.
During the meeting, Perez outlined a series of departmental changes sparked by the confrontation, primarily with training since the officer in question was responsible for training a slew of other Miami-Dade police officers.
"We are revamping a lot that we do and we've had some conversations with everybody involved in the field training programs and the importance of what training is and what role it has with our officers," Perez said.
Miami Beach police were also at the meeting, addressing this month's wild spring break crowds that caught the city off guard.
There had been concerns over racial overtones and a heavy-handed approach on the mostly minority visitors as police arrested upward of 300 people this month -- something the city strongly denies.
"We saw about a third more people than we did last year and I'll tell you, the bulk of kids who came down here came down to have fun," Miami Beach Police Deputy Chief Richard Clements said.
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