On March 5th, Dyma Loving, 26, a Miami area resident, and her friend Adrianna Green were walking past Frank Tumm’s home on Southwest 201st Street when Tumm, 50, called Green a “whore.” Both women were startled, and a verbal altercation erupted, and Green picked up a potted plant and threw it at Tumm.
According to Loving, Tumm then brandished a gun and pointed it at them. It was then that Loving saw her life flash in front of her eyes.
“He pulled the gun out on me and told me that he would blow my burned Black ass face off my f–king neck. Excuse my French, but those were his exact words,” Loving told ESSENCE in an exclusive interview. Loving said after Tumm pulled the gun on her, she started to throw more plants at him, and once he lowered the gun, her friend grabbed her arm, and they both ran away.
After Loving and Green made their way from Tumm, Green called the police. But instead of being treated as a victim, Loving’s encounter became a too-often-heard story of when Black people are met with policing gone wrong.
“At first, there were two cop cars that met us there [area where the incident happened]. We gave them the statement and everything, and they understood what happened. They were fine. They got our statement. And then they went down to Frank’s house to investigate him and get his side,” Loving said.
Things went awry when the third cop car showed up with Officer Alejandro Giraldo.
A black woman Called Miami-Dade Police For Help After A Man Brandished A Weapon and threaten her life. Yet, She Was Arrested for being distraught pic.twitter.com/xQ2vvDZZsW
— Brother Tyrone X (@tyrone345345) March 13, 2019
“It was Officer Giraldo that did everything to me. I asked him if he could walk me down to Adrienne’s house so that I can put my phone on the charger so I could call my kids. And the first thing he tells me was ‘no,’ I was just going to stand there and wait. I mean, at first, I took offense to it. But I didn’t say anything or react,” Loving said.
“I just waited. I gave him my statement. And the whole time I’m giving him my statement, he’s acting really ignorant towards me and Adrienne. He asked us, ‘Well why did you guys do this?’ And we were like, ‘What do you mean? We didn’t do anything. We didn’t even start this. We were just minding our own business,'” she continued.
Loving admitted that after being questioned as if she was a suspect, she became angry and began to yell, especially since they wouldn’t let her contact her children. As Loving is trying to explain herself to Giraldo, he grabs her by the arm and appears to push her against a fence.
“Do not touch me,” Loving shouted. Another police officer identified only as Officer Calderon grabs Loving by her other arm. “Record this,” Loving yelled to Green while telling officers not to touch her.
“I wanted to call my kid,” Loving said. “I just said I wanted to call my kid. My phone is dead. What do you not understand? I had a gun pointed in front of me and my kid is sick. I’m stressed out. I need to go call my children. I don’t understand.”
Loving said she noticed the first officers, who were women, looked in her direction, and she tried to get them to help. “I’m asking the other female officers to come to help me. And that’s when Adrienne put her phone on record. And in the video, you hear him [Giraldo] tell me I needed to be Baker Acted,” Loving said.
Although the incident happened on March 5th, the video didn’t catch the media’s attention until earlier this week, as it made its rounds on Facebook and then Twitter. On Thursday, according to Juan Perez, Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Giraldo was relieved from his duties as the investigation was underway. Tumm was also arrested on Thursday, weeks after the incident. But Loving, who was arrested for disorderly conduct the same day, is calling for justice to be served immediately, and for both men to get more than just get a slap on the wrist. She also stated that she’s suffering from physical and emotional pain.
I am aware of the concerning video circulating on social media involving our department. I find the actions depicted on the video deeply troubling and in no way reflective of our core values of integrity, respect, service, and fairness…
— Juan Perez (@JPerezMDPD) March 14, 2019
“I’ve been crying and sad ever since, like every day. I’ve had to take off work because my body is physically in pain. My elbow is scratched up and really nasty. My forearm is nasty. It’s swollen. I went to the hospital for my neck and my back because I thought he had crushed my throat. I couldn’t talk for three days because my throat was so sore. I can’t even pick up my one-year-old daughter because my arm and my back hurt so bad,” she told ESSENCE.
And when it comes to her children, who are six, three, and one, Loving says they don’t understand what’s going on, even though they saw it on television.
“They asked me if I was okay and everything. I tried to explain the situation to them, but they don’t really understand what’s happening. As much as I hate to play the race card, I want them to be aware of the racial things that are going on. But I feel like if I put too much pressure on the racial thing, they’ll go through life expecting racism to happen all the time. I don’t want them to expect the world to be racist,” Loving said.
But like many Black parents across the country, Loving is preparing to have “the talk” with her kids. “The talk” usually consists of what they should do when in the presence of law enforcement, and how to survive them. But Loving’s talk is going to be a bit different.
“It’s going to be like ‘Don’t ever call the police.’ I really have no idea how to even process this. In my eyes, the police are our number one enemy right now. There is no calling them for anything. If anything were to happen, I will figure it out myself and handle it myself. Because otherwise, I’m still going to be suspect, whether I’m right or wrong,” Loving said.
Loving plans on filing a lawsuit against the officer and the Miami-Dade police department, and has hired civil rights attorney Justin Moore.
“This incident has been caught on camera and clearly expresses a complete lack of training and supervision of the officers who responded to Dyma’s request for police protection,” Moore stated in a press release. “Adjacent to the prosecution of any Federal Civil Rights claim my office intends to pursue, Giraldo needs to be unequivocally terminated from any employment capacity at Miami-Dade PD and, he, along with Frank Tumm, must face criminal liability for their actions on March 5, 2019. While my office will zealously advocate for Dyma in the pursuit of a Federal Civil Rights Claim, we will also advocate, as average citizens who seek for better policing in our communities nationwide, for corrective action by the Miami-Dade PD and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.”
When asked if she had a message for the Miami-Dade Police Department, Loving simply stated, “I want them to get better training and get psychiatric evaluations done on everybody in the department. Understand people’s backgrounds, where they come from. I feel like if your officer is having a bad day, you don’t send him out in the car. He needs to be sitting at a desk. It’s just certain things that could be done to prevent police brutality from happening.”