Miami, FL – A former Miami-Dade police officer is facing up to five years in prison after a jury convicted him Thursday for illegally tackling a woman to the ground and lying in the arrest report.
The jury deliberated for slightly more than an hour before convicting now-former Miami-Dade Police Officer Alejandro Giraldo on charges of official misconduct and battery in connection with the 2019 arrest of Dyma Loving, the Miami Herald reported.
Giraldo’s sentencing date has not been set and is expected to take place sometime this summer, according to WFOR.
“I feel free, I feel relieved. I feel a burden is off of my chest, off of my shoulders,” Loving told WSVN after the verdict was handed down.
The incident occurred on March 5, 2019, after Loving and her friend, Adrianna Greene, called police to report that a neighbor had pointed a shotgun at them, the Miami Herald reported.
The women said the male neighbor called them “hookers” as they were walking down the street, and that they called him a “f—-t” in response, bodycam footage showed.
That’s when the neighbor suddenly turned, grabbed a shotgun, and pointed it at them, the women told police.
“He bent down, picked it up, and told me he was gonna shoot me in the f—king head,” Loving said in the bodycam footage. “That’s what he told me.”
As the investigation continued, Greene and Loving urged the officers to look for security footage to prove what had occurred.
Loving began raising her voice at one point and told officers they needed to arrest the alleged suspect.
“Y’all need to do something,” she said in the video.
“Oh yeah? You need to chill out,” Officer Giraldo fired back. “You’re being disorderly rightly now.”
He warned her that she needed to “calm down” or she would be arrested, the video showed.
Loving complied, but became more emotional as the unproductive conversation between them continued.
Loving told a female officer at the scene that she wanted to go next door to charge her phone so she could call her children.
“I just had a gun pointed in my face,” she told police. “My daughter is sick…”
Officer Giraldo raised his voice, telling Loving she was again being disorderly, the video showed.
“You’re screaming again – second time,” he said. “You are acting disorderly. You will be arrested, okay? Get it right.”
The female officer remained steady and urged Loving to calm down just before Officer Giraldo interjected.
“You know what? She needs to be made corrected if anything,” he said.
“Why do I have to be corrected when my life was just threatened and my daughter’s sick?” Loving said. “I just want to go next door and charge my phone!”
Officer Giraldo then moved forward and attempted to take Loving into custody, bodycam footage showed.
Loving yelled at police not to touch her as they attempted to place her in handcuffs.
She was ultimately taken to the ground during the brief scuffle and placed under arrest for resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct, the Miami Herald reported.
“It was baffling to me and everything, and I was out of sorts,” Loving later told WSVN. “I just couldn’t understand what was happening at that moment. It was really difficult for me to even wrap my head around what was going on.”
Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorneys Tim VanderGiesen and Valeska Alvarado told jurors that Officer Giraldo proceeded to falsify Loving’s arrest report by claiming she had been “uncooperative” and that she was “causing a scene,” according to the paper.
“Police officers can put their hands on people to effectuate a lawful arrest,” VanderGiesen further alleged. “If the arrest is unlawful, they have no more rights than the rest of us. And he sure as heck can’t tackle her to the ground.”
Giraldo’s attorney, Andre Rouviere, argued that Loving and Greene were “riled up” during the incident, and described Loving as being “out of control,” the Miami Herald reported.
“What you see there isn’t a crime,” Rouviere told the jury, according to the Miami Herald. “What you see there is a police officer working the streets, dealing with a situation and maybe his bedside manner was off.”
“When he arrested Dyma Loving, it was after warning after warning that she was being disruptive,” he added.
The jury convicted Giraldo on both counts after approximately one hour of deliberations, the Miami Herald reported.
“We’re disappointed,” Rouviere said after the verdict was handed down. “We thought we’d established they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. I guess the jury saw it a different way. We have to accept the jury’s verdict.”
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released a statement in the wake of the verdict saying her office will continue to do whatever they can to “hold officers who violate the law accountable,” WFOR reported.
“When a law enforcement officer commits a crime, it truly eats at the trust they need to keep our residents & communities safe,” Rundle added.
Loving said she was nervous about the outcome of the trial and that she is thankful the jury convicted the now-former officer, WSVN reported.
“My nerves were so bad,” she told the news outlet. “I know how cops get off with stuff like this every day. They can get off with killing someone.”
Loving said she “literally cried” when she learned Giraldo had been convicted.
“I was overwhelmed with joy and just peace,” she told WSVN.
You can see the video of the incident below. Warning – Graphic content, obscene language: