MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Former Miami-Dade Police Officer Alejandro Giraldo was sentenced to just under a year in jail Thursday for his participation in the rough arrest of a woman who had called police for help.
Giraldo was sentenced to 364 days in jail, followed by 18 months of probation. The sentencing came as a surprise to both the prosecution and the defense. The prosecution had recommended 60 days in jail, so when they heard the sentence, they said it was unexpected but appreciated.
The judge also ordered that Giraldo goes to anger management class as part of his probation and told him that he set a bad example for other officers because of his actions. The judge said the false statements made by Giraldo in Loving’s arrest report also weighed heavily on her decision.
He’s expected to surrender on July 11 at 9:30 a.m.
Giraldo issued a statement during Thursday’s sentencing hearing, at which time he apologized to the victim, Dyma Loving, for “any trauma I may have caused.”
He acknowledged that after working in law enforcement for 14 years, he lost his career and “the respect of many of my peers.”
“I have dedicated my life to be a spiritual person,” he said. “March 5th, I had a bad day. I have dedicated my life to help serve.”
Giraldo added that who he appears to be in the video “is not who I truly am.”
“I ask that you do not define me based on the 6-minute video,” he said. “I ask that you take mercy on me.”
Loving also spoke, telling Giraldo that she accepted his apology but questioned whether anything would have been done if it wasn’t captured on camera.
“I do forgive you. Healing is hard and I appreciate your apology,” she said.
Loving also acknowledged that Giraldo was training another officer the day of the rough arrest.
“You were training someone to be like you that day,” she said. “You tackled an unarmed woman. It was unnecessary.”
The officer was suspended after cellphone video circulated on social media in March 2019 showing him tackling Loving, who had called police to report that a neighbor had pointed a shotgun at her. Police body cameras also recorded the encounter.
Giraldo insisted he acted lawfully in subduing an unruly woman who was interfering with an investigation.
“What you see there isn’t a crime. What you see there is a police officer working the streets, dealing with a situation and maybe his bedside manner was off,” his attorney, Andre Rouviere, told jurors. “When he arrested Dyma Loving, it was after warning after warning that she was being disruptive.”
Video shows Giraldo pushing Loving into a fence and then taking her to the ground, where she was handcuffed.
Loving was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence. Those charges were later dropped.
The arrest report inaccurately said that Loving was “causing a scene” and was being “uncooperative,” prosecutors said.
Giraldo’s defense attorney countered that it was Loving and another woman at the scene who were out of control.
“Police officers can put their hands on people to effectuate a lawful arrest. If the arrest is unlawful, they have no more rights than the rest of us. And he sure as heck can’t tackle her to the ground,” said prosecutor Tim VanderGiesen.
Giraldo faced up to five years in prison at sentencing.