Pinecrest Police Officer Ana Carrasco was suspended for 20 days for not trying to help resuscitate two University of Miami students who died in a car accident.
Village Manager Yocelyn Galiano-Gomez reached her final decision Thursday after a month of hearings and testimony, ultimately overruling recommendations from Carrasco’s supervisor that she be suspended for a week, and another from the police chief that she be terminated.
The punishment, which Carrasco agreed to, includes her signing a three-year “last-chance agreement” and retaking standard first-responder training and universal infection courses.
“The expectation of Pinecrest police officers is that they honor their sworn duty to act proactively and in accordance with their training,” village spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree Garcia said.
The village manager said Carrasco erred when she didn’t put on her protective gloves, which would have given her more ability to assess the situation.
Her suspension is the result of her inaction during an October incident in which UM students Ying Chen, 27, and Hao Liu, 26, were killed as they tried to cross Kendall Drive not far from U.S. 1.
Miami Police Sgt. Javier Ortiz rushed to the scene after hearing the accident as he was leaving a nearby CVS pharmacy while off-duty. Ortiz tried to revive the students and complained to Carrasco’s supervisor that the officer failed to lend a hand to save the victims.
The incident made headlines after Ortiz denied filing the complaint that led to an internal investigation of Carrasco by Pinecrest police. Yet the outspoken leader of the Miami police union continued to bash the officer for dereliction of duty.
When Pinecrest investigators determined Carrasco had not given proper help to the victims at the accident scene, her supervisor recommended that she be suspended for a week. Later, Police Chief Samuel Ceballos Jr. recommended termination.
Then, two weeks ago, Ortiz and Miami-Dade County Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera squared off against each other publicly, after Rivera tried to defend Carrasco as her union representative.
However, all that was a sideshow to the final decision by the village manager to suspend the officer. Had Carrasco not signed off on it, she would have been terminated.