Miami City police Captain Javier Ortiz has received disciplinary action following a concerning public confession that he was Black. ESSENCE has learned that the once- white Hispanic law enforcement officer has been relieved of his duties with pay, pending an investigation.
Calls for Ortiz’s resignation rang out after he appeared at a Miami City Commissioner Meeting on Friday to defend his, and the city’s, record on racist policing. He told the panel of commissioners, the Black members of the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association who waged the charge against the department that there was “disparate treatment” among Black officers in the force, and those watching the live broadcast, that he was Black, citing the archaic “one-drop rule.”
In response, the Miami chapter of the NAACP called his comments “disturbing” and demanded that he leave the force. The Miami City police department confirmed to ESSENCE that he in fact was suspended. Michael Vega, a police officer in the public information department made the announcement on Tuesday.
This is not the first time Ortiz has faced suspension with pay. The Miami New Times reported in 2017, that he was temporarily stripped of his gun and duties after a woman obtained a restraining order against then-Lieutenant Ortiz after he harassed her on Facebook and posted her cellphone number publicly. Ortiz has also been known to outwardly defend the actions of cops who went after unarmed Black citizens, made false accusations against Black NFL player Robby Anderson, labeled 12-year-old Tamir Rice a “thug” and called for a boycott on Beyoncé because she performed a Black Panther-inspired set at the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show.
No word on if the captain, who is alleged to have changed his race designation from white to Black in order to obtain a promotion, will receive further disciplinary action or an approximate timeframe for when the investigation will be over.