Police union president defends Miami-Dade cop who punched woman

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - The police union has come to the defense of a Miami-Dade Police officer after cell phone footage showed him punching a female University of Miami football fan while removing her from the stadium.

Cell phone footage showed 30-year-old nurse Bridget Freitas being taken out of the University of Miami vs Virginia Tech football game Saturday night. During the struggle, Freitas slapped Miami-Dade Police Detective Douglas Ross. Ross then turned around and punched Freitas in the face.

“If you don’t want to get hit by a cop, don’t hit him first,” said Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera.

Rivera said the officer was only doing his job.

“The officer just reacted to the way she was acting, and he was doing a compliance strike to stop her from keep slapping him. It’s that simple,” he said.

According to the arrest report, Freitas had been arguing with other fans when cops arrived.

“She was hitting another lady, and that’s why the police were there, and then of course the police were going to try to evict her quietly, but she decided to go the way she went,” said Rivera.

Officers said they tried to calm her down before carrying her out, but she refused.

“As a police officer, you don’t have to sit there and allow somebody to hit you and hit you and hit you,” said Rivera.

The department is now looking into the incident and has released a statement that says in part, “Supervisory personnel are aware of the video and are reviewing the incident to ensure compliance with our policies and procedures.”

As the department continues to review the video, Freitas faces a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.

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