MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami Police Department captain has been fired.
On Tuesday, MPD Chief Manuel Morales confirmed that he fired Police Capt. Javier Ortiz.
In a statement to 7News, Morales said in part, “Any member of the Miami Police Department who does not carry out the department’s mission is unworthy of serving the residents and stakeholders they vowed to uphold as a sworn member of the police department.”
Ortiz is said to have been a very controversial captain in recent months, following allegations of filing overtime requests with sergeants under his command, which would be a breach of contract.
He has been on the news before, one incident revolves around the now former captain being accused of making controversial comments.
In 2020, 7News originally aired the story of Ortiz, as he stood before city commissioners claiming to be a black man.
“As far as Captain [Dana] Carr, she loves to call me a Latin male. I’m a black male. Yes, I am, and I am not Hispanic. I was born in this country,” he told commissioners.
Ortiz was also the head of the Miami Police Department’s Union and was relieved of those duties because he was accused of harassing women.
“Let me just show you his history here. He is constantly putting the city in liability,” said Miami Police Sgt. Stanley Jean-Poix, the president of the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association.
In the latest incident, a City of Miami Police Department disciplinary action from July 2022 states there were some issues regarding over-time.
The chief signed off on terminating the 18-year veteran Tuesday, citing in that paperwork a high volume of complaints against the captain through the years like being accused of using excessive force.
The Interim Executive Director of the Civilian Investigative Panel in the City of Miami, Rodney Jacobs, supports the chief’s decision.
“He is constantly in the news for various reasons. I think this is the last straw,” said Jacobs. “The chief and anyone else could have sat on their hands and said, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do this because of arbitration’ or ‘I’m not going to do this because he may be brought back.’ What it seems, though, they have taken a stop, and they’re going to cross those bridges when they get there, and I think it’s a decision that is in the best interest for the safety of the people of Miami.”
Ortiz has also been suspended for various other investigations, a total of three times in his career.
The South Florida Police Benevolent Association is representing Ortiz and disagrees with the termination.
“A five member panel made up of staff members of the police department were able to listen to evidence and make a determination that he had violated no policies or procedures of the department. Yet, today, Chief Morales made the decision to fire him,” said Griska Mena.
They said they expected the chief to exonerate Ortiz and allow him to return to work, but that did not happen.
“I believe that the decision that was made today was a failure to acknowledge he did nothing wrong today, that Javier Ortiz did not violate any policies and was politically motivated,” said Mena.
If Ortiz plans to appeal this decision, officials said he has until Sept. 29 to do so.
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