Miami’s police union has asked Chief Manuel Orosa to rethink a decision to have the department investigate an altercation between two officers during a traffic stop.
Sgt. Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, publicly released the letter late Tuesday telling the chief and Major Jorge Martin, head of the department’s special investigations section, that the FOP would have “no issue with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement working concurrently with the Miami Police Department in the investigation” of a fracas between Lt. David Ramras and officer Marcel Jackson that was caught on camera.
Jackson was relieved of duty with pay. Lt. Ramras, of internal affairs, was moved to desk duty.
Regarding Jackson, Ortiz’ letter stated “we feel that he should not be relieved of duty at home.”
The letter went on to state that the department has a “serious conflict having the Special Investigations Section investigating this incident when you decided to transfer Lieutenant Ramras to that same section. Any reasonable person would agree with our position. Please rethink your decision.”
The roadside scuffle between Ramras and Jackson occurred after a June 24 afternoon traffic stop initiated by Jackson resulted in a brief tussle between the two cops on Flagler Street.
The struggle between Jackson and Ramras was captured by Jackson’s personal dash-camera — which supervisors say was rolling without their knowledge. The footage is now evidence in a state attorney’s office investigation.
The video, first obtained by the Crespogram Report, shows Jackson pulling over a silver Chevrolet sedan on Flagler. He approaches the car, and after about 30 seconds the man behind the wheel opens the car door and tries to get out.
When the door swings open, Jackson extends his arms and pushes the driver, Ramras, back up against the car’s frame. The two men grapple, and then Jackson drops Ramras to the ground on his back and straddles his torso. Almost immediately, Miami officers in three squad cars arrive and break up the scuffle.
On the video, Ramras stands up and is heard yelling, “You do know who the f--k I am.”
“No, I don’t,” Jackson shouts back at him.
Later, Jackson gets back in his car, points his camera down to his seats, and describes the encounter during an apparent phone conversation.
“He pushes open the door, hits me with the door. So I pushed the door back like stay in the car and he’s like ‘I’m lieutenant of police! I’m lieutenant of police!’ and he pushes his way out of the car. So I took him to the ground,” Jackson is heard saying. “I’ve never seen this guy. I don’t even know who this guy is.”
The two men were relieved of their posts.
Ramras has been moved from internal affairs to a post in command staff's office doing paperwork while the investigation being conducted by Miami's Special Investigative Section plays out. Jackson has been relieved of duty with pay, because police say, he refused to hand over his personal GoPro camera that recorded the event as well as several traffic violations.
Jackson visited the police department with his GoPro and provided the scene of the confrontation with Ramras, said Orosa. But the chief said he hasn't turned over any of the other recordings.
The internal police investigation has for now been handed over to the state attorney's office, which will decide whether to press charges.