Police officer fired after shocking footage shows woman being hit in face at Miami airport

Charlie Duffield
A Miami-Dade police officer was caught on camera slapping a woman: @BillyCorben/CBS News

A police officer has been fired after a shocking video emerged of a woman being hit across the face in Miami.

Miami filmmaker Billy Corben tweeted a video appearing to show the incident, which occurred at Miami International Airport on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Alfredo Ramirez III tweeted that the officer would be fire. "The MDPD holds itself accountable for its actions, and this is just another example of our commitment to do just that," he added.

The video shows a woman heard arguing with a male Miami-Dade police officer, although the reason for the exchange is unclear.

The woman yells in the officer's face, saying: "You acting like you white when you really black...what you gonna do?"

The officer then hits the woman in the face before grabbing her and pushing her to the ground. A second officer then rushes in, alongside the officer whose body cam was recording the incident.

It's unknown if the woman was hurt, but the officer who hit her claimed "she headbutted me".

A source told CBS Miami the officer is a 20-year veteran of the force.

The woman was reported to be “threatening” an American Airlines ticketing agent near gate D37, as she had been denied entrance to a flight to Chicago because she arrived late, and no flight was available until the next day.

While CBS Miami described the blow as a punch, the newspaper, the Miami Herald quoted Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association President Steadman Stahl as saying the officer hit her with an "open-hand slap," sometimes called a "diversionary strike."

Mr Stahl said: "Clearly she was the aggressor. She was being asked to leave. She's being belligerent and she pushes her face right into his face."

The incident went viral, and Mr Ramirez tweeted that he was "shocked and angered" by the bodycam footage.

He said: "I've immediately initiated an investigation and ordered that the involved officers be relieved of duty."

"Actions such as these undermine the hard work that we have invested in our community and causes my heart to break for our community and for the vast majority of our officers who dedicate their lives to serving our County."

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