Cop Convicted of Battery After Filing Police Report Filled With Lies

A jury has convicted a Florida police officer for lying about his rough arrest of a woman who had reported a neighbor had pointed a shotgun at her.

Jurors deliberated for an hour on Thursday before convicting Miami-Dade Police Officer Alejandro Giraldo of battery and official misconduct for tackling the woman and lying about it in his police report, the Miami Herald reported. The conviction is the latest in the fallout from the 2019 arrest of Dyma Loving, which went viral after being captured on video.

Giraldo arrested Loving, a Black woman who had called 911 to report that a neighbor had shouted insults at her and pulled a gun, in 2019. Body camera footage of the arrest showed Giraldo telling an agitated Loving to calm down.

Loving is then shown questioning officers about why she "needs to be corrected" when she had been threatened by someone else. She tells the officers she needs to charge her phone to contact her sick daughter before she is pulled to the ground and placed in handcuffs.

Judge's Gavel
A Miami-Dade police officer was convicted of battery and lying on a police report. The video of the 2019 arrest went viral. This undated stock image shows a judge's gavel resting on a bench. 1139402624/Getty Images

Following the arrest, Giraldo wrote in his police report that "Ms. Loving was advised that the investigation was interrupted by her screaming and disruptive behavior," describing her as "uncooperative," according to Miami radio station WLRN. Four officers present at the arrest said in sworn statements that Loving did not pose a threat or cause a crowd to gather.

"Police officers can put their hands on people to effectuate a lawful arrest," Tim VanderGiesen, a prosecutor who tried the case, told jurors during closing arguments. "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."

After the video of the arrest emerged online, Miami-Dade Police Chief Juan Perez announced that he was launching an investigation into the incident and had suspended Giraldo.

Loving's disorderly conduct and resisting charges were later dropped and she filed a civil lawsuit against Miami-Dade Police Department. Giraldo was charged with battery and lying on a police report. The incident also sparked protests against the department with calls to reform its practices, local news station WTVJ reported.

"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," Andre Rouvieres, Giraldo's defense attorney, told the jury. "When he arrested Dyma Loving, it was after warning after warning that she was being disruptive."

Rouviere told the Herald that "we're disappointed" but would have to accept the jury's verdict.

The incident follows other rough arrests by Florida police caught on body cameras. The city of Miami's Civilian Investigative Panel opened a review last month after footage showed a woman who said she was pregnant being pushed to the ground during an arrest.

Earlier this year, an officer in the Miami area opened fire on a dog while responding to a barking noise complaint. Last month, aFlorida appeals court overturned a former police officer's conviction after he shot an autistic man holding a silver toy truck in 2016.

Rouviere declined further comment to Newsweek.

Newsweek reached out to Loving for comment.