MIAMI – City of Miami police Capt. Javier Ortiz has been suspended with pay, Local 10 News has learned.
Ortiz, the former president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, is known for his brash personality but may have taken things too far during the city commission meeting last Friday.
“I’m a black male,” he said. “Yes I am.”
Ortiz was talking about his racial identity when he referred to an old Jim Crow law that was used to thwart racial equality during segregation.
“If you know anything about the one-drop rule, which started in the 20th Century, which is what identifies and defines what a black male is, or a negro, you would know that if you have one drop of black in you, you are considered black,” Ortiz said.
He also said that he is not Hispanic because he was born in the United States.
Ortiz has faced criticism for identifying as black in a promotion exam.
In the aftermath of Ortiz’s comments, a firestorm fueled in with the black community has many up in arms.
“For him to make the assertion that he’s black and not Hispanic, is an outright lie and as a law enforcement officer he should be standing for truth and representing truth,” Miami-Dade County NAACP President Ruban Roberts said.
The Miami-Dade chapter of the NAACP is pushing for the veteran officer and former union head to be fired, citing his troubled history.
“He’s had over 50 investigations for the CIP, which is a police oversight committee,” Roberts said. “He’s had over 14 internal investigations. He’s been suspended. He has harassed people in the community.”
One woman sought a restraining order against Ortiz after she felt he publicly harassed her on social media, posting her cell phone number and private pictures in what she said was a retaliatory attempt after she called out a Miami-Dade police officer for speeding.
Ortiz was also the officer who tried to initiate a boycott against pop star Beyoncé because of a music video that addressed police shootings.
The union representing 300 of its minority members says Ortiz noted himself as “white Hispanic” on his hiring application but marked himself as “black” on his lieutenant and captain exams to get a promotional advantage.
Sgt. Stanley Jean-Poix, president of the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association released a statement, which read: “Black officers are underrepresented as lieutenants and he knew that and lied to get a promotion. We’re insulted and it’s disrespectful to the black officers of the police department.”