Cop Punches Black Woman At Miami Airport After She Tells Him He’s Black, Too

Miami-based documentary filmmaker Billy Corben posted airport surveillance video on Wednesday showing a police officer at Miami International Airport striking a woman.

It appears to be body cam footage from another officer. Reportedly the woman may have missed a flight, or had a significant flight delay, and was upset. An airline employee called police.

The woman yelled at the officer, just before he hit her, “You black, you acting like you’re white but you’re really black. What’re you gonna do?” The officer, Antonio Rodriguez, “snaps and punches the woman in the face. He then throws his hands on her and brings her to the ground as officers in the background shout ‘Woah, woah’.” He then claims “she headbutted me” though the video doesn’t appear to support that.

Miami Dade’s police Director has suspended the officer and “initiated an investigation” which has been escalated to the State’s Attorney – however she’s an official who has never charged an officer for an on duty fatal shooting in 27 years, so good luck with that.

The police union President claims, “Clearly she was the aggressor. She was being asked to leave. She’s being belligerent and she pushes her face right into his face.” (As they say ‘she came at him, attacking his fist with her face.’)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Brings to mind that kid in Buffalo who was getting repeatedly punched in the face while handcuffed with a cop on top of him. While the cops were punching the guy, who being completely immobile couldn’t do anything including move, the cops kept yelling “stop resisting arrest”.

  2. Guy needs to be fired and charged. Yes she was being verbally aggressive. No she did not touch him. He assaulted her. I am not part of the “Defund the Police” movement. I am part of the “If they use violent force when it is totally unnecessary they get fired and charged” movement. Defending the bad ones is an insult to the large majority who do their jobs well.

  3. Another “bad apple?” You don’t say. Before the idiots defend his action, no it is not OK to punch someone in the face just because you dont like what they have to say.

  4. Folks, the whole point of all this nonsense is to paint law enforcement into a corner so they are afraid to do their jobs. They think a lawfully detained person should be able to stroll up threateningly to an officer, while making overtly racist statements to the officer, with zero consequences. Tough to say if she made contact with the officer’s face from that angle, but under Florida law she doesn’t have to in order for that close-range head-bob to be an assault.

    If you haven’t already, arm yourself. If the police are successfully neutered by this “movement” then you really are your only line of defense. We’ve all seen a mayor and a governor concede a wide swath of land in a major city to the marxists. It can happen anywhere.

  5. He should lose his job 4 not being able to control himself. And he couls have moved her back by her shoulders. She should get arrested. Race aside, u dont do that to a cope or tsa in an airport.

  6. @ Lydia. You are a stupid idiot! Police are meant to show restraint, that women did not touch that cop and she certainly did not need punching like that! How about you crawl back into your cave you racist pig!!!!

  7. Officers have to learn how to de-escalate different situations. We who are in the Customer Service sector do it all the time with a better outcome. She was upset and the officer could have listen and been understanding…outcome…a better result.

  8. @ Gene – Wow, I’m not sure Lydia is a racist. You’re making that accusation based on a short blog post comment.

    It’s so easy to make that accusation, especially recently. Make it too often and without factual evidence then, after awhile, it loses its meaning and impact ala “the boy who cried wolf”.

    The lady was obnoxious and wrong. She’s human. It happens. Her behavior was deplorable but the officer should have shown restraint. He was provoked. He is also human and made a mistake. It happens.

    Yet, by wearing his uniform he is rightfully held to a higher standard and should suffer consequences for his behavior.

  9. I am not a lawyer (thank God), but getting your nose an inch from a cop’s face and screaming at him may constitute assault, even without touching.

  10. Americans, can you not see this? I know she’s supposed to be heralded as some icon … but seriously, nobody behaves like this. It’s not normal.

  11. It does look like she pressed her forehead into his mask the instant before he tagged her. Not saying he made the right choice, but she may indeed made a very minimal “headbutt”

  12. Several comments here highlight exactly what I see as a problem in the current environment.

    While I dont particularly agree with the way @Lydia made her statement, there is nothing what-so-ever in what she said to indicate racism. Calling her racist based on that statement alone is unsupported, at best, and damages the fight against racism when it does exist.

    The police officer was, from what I can see in this video, out of line and not acting as I/we would expect. He should be disciplined, in whatever way that is.

    The lady, as well, was out of line. She should not have aggresively approached the officer. Sadly, she also brought ‘color’ into the conversation where it was irrelevant and should have known that it would only escalate the situation. She too is due some disciplanary reaction, whatever that may be.

  13. The cop was wrong but the wrong has issues. Especially in the social/physical distancing age.

    I once got pulled over for following too closely. There was an unmarked police car in front of me that intentionally slowed down and then he claimed I was following too closely. It was a game they played to get an excuse to test people for DUI. Some young inexperience cop.

    He then requested another officer who gave me the stupid walk on a line test, etc. (my ankle is messed up so I can’t stand on that foot). Anyhow when they got to the breath analyzer, it showed I was not over the limit (not sure of the exact number).

    They ended up not giving me a ticket for anything but told me not to drive (maybe because I couldn’t walk the line or wasn’t 0 on the analyzer?) so I called a cab (in those days) and the driver asked why didn’t they let me drive and I said “It is pointless to argue with the cops”. I was only about 2 miles from home.

  14. @toomanybooks It shows that you’re not a lawyer (thank God indeed). Also, it’s not assault: mere words are not enough for that to be the case.

  15. @Mike:

    I think you may need to learn the difference between “assault” and “battery.”

    Something most of us picked up in middle school.

    Also, check the laws in every single jurisdiction in the US while you are at it. Then report back.

    K?

  16. Evidently, the woman showed lack of respect, was unnecessarily aggressive, and made inflammatory racist remarks.
    The officer totally lost his composure. . Both are at fault, regardless of skin color.

  17. Sounded like a slap; if not he’s got a weak ass punch. He’s going to have a hard time living that one down.

    Good thing the other officers jumped in when they did; pretty sure she woulda kicked his ass.

    .

  18. @toomanybooks:

    Why all 50 states? It happened in Miami. Florida’s standard jury instructions for simple assault state:

    The defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened, by word or act, to do violence to the alleged victim;
    At the time the threat was made, the defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat; and
    The threat created in the mind of the alleged victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place.

    Even assuming the woman’s stance constituted an unlawful threat to do violence, this juror would have trouble finding for the officer as to the other two elements.

  19. She got what was coming to her. Good for the cop, don’t let these people get in your face like that. Good job cop.

  20. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m comfortable saying there is one irrefutable fact. After reviewing the video a few times, I can confirm that woman can take a punch!

  21. And all a really come to this site for is the latest news on traveling to Hawaii with my wife.

  22. And all I really come to this site for is the latest news on traveling to Hawaii with my wife.

  23. @Ron :”The lady was obnoxious and wrong. She’s human. It happens. Her behavior was deplorable but the officer should have shown restraint. He was provoked. He is also human and made a mistake. It happens.”

    Amazing group of people in some of these comments. Boot lickers, AKA cop-defenders at any and all costs. Her behavior is described as “deplorable” but the cop’s behavior (the COP, LAW ENFORCEMENT) is described as should have “shown restraint.” He is THE COP. His behavior was more than deplorable. It was criminal and he will be charged.

    The cop defenders hate it when black people get in the face of cops. That’s just the reality of America. Look at the white gun nuts that stormed the Michigan capitol building (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52496514). To the posters here defending the cop, did you have any outrage then! Of course not. Oh oh but they’re freedom lovers standing up against tyranny of the the libtards!

    What a joke.

  24. @Louis T. – So did most of us. Instead we spent the last few minutes reading comments from people we don’t care about and a funny video of some woman getting sucker punched. It’s as if Jerry Springer got a travel blog.

  25. I’ve seen some police brutality videos recently that have deeply upset me, sometimes I can’t stop thinking about it for days. But this video doesn’t evoke that reaction. She got within an inch of his face and started yelling, who knows what she could be exposing him to? All because she’s mad she missed her flight? Nah, she got what she deserved. Now if only someone could punch Gary for posting these pointless articles… xD

  26. People aren’t entitled to get within inches of a law enforcement officer’s face and physically menace them. I don’t expect any cop to allow some random person to take the first shot at them before they can take action. Maybe some people want to live in that type of society but clearly she was going right at him and was threatening him and when somebody gets that close to you there won’t be enough time to protect yourself if they attack. Seriously I understand people hate law enforcement, but this woman crossed a line.

  27. She goaded him and he lost it. More money should be spent on de escalation training. If he was going to take physical action it would have been telling her she is under arrest and arresting her, not slugging her. I am not expressing an opinion that she should have been arrested. But police do not arrest people by first slugging them. The posts show there is more bigotry in our country then there should be.

  28. I knew I wanted to say something about what I saw and after reading your comments I see why we’re in the mess we are I’m not saying what she did is right or what he did if he felt threatened and believe me I find that hard to believe arrest her. If you can’t take some woman yelling at you what in the hell are you doing there. PEACE

  29. She got what she deserved people need to respect the authority, she was the aggressor not the cop

  30. I didn’t see anyone getting punched when the mob stormed Michigan’s and other state’s capital screaming in the cops faces for the state to reopen, with some of the mob carrying guns. It just goes to show it is a double standard. If she was white it would have ended differently. Just saying.

  31. Poor, poor police. All this talk about Black Lives Matter and police brutality has them hopelessly confused. For generations white folk have relied on the police to keep “these people” (as one comment put it) in line by any means necessary. No questions asked. Amy Cooper knows that. Any challenges to white authority and supremacy had to be dealt with swiftly and severely. Historically, society has sent a simple message: Submit or get what you “deserve” the lash, a noose, a bullet from a cop or vigilante, a knee on the neck, or a punch in the face. It’s their fault. They asked for it.

    Now that videos are finally showing a tiny part of the practices and attitudes that have been ingrained for more than 400 years, voices calling for reform are growing loud. This has some cops so frustrated and upset, they are quitting because being held accountable for racism and brutality is certainly not what they signed up for. It’s not fair. Somebody moved their cheese. Good riddance. Many commenters don’t want to hear about it.

    Under the submit-humbly-to-white-authority-or-else theory of policing, the woman was the aggressor and the Miami cop in this video was clearly within HIS rights to punch the woman in the face. Raising her voice and looking him in the eye was a challenge to HIS authority. Who did she think she was to talk to HIM like that? Being Black and wearing a hoodie made her a threat. The lady’s assault on the cop’s fist with her jaw put the cops in fear for their lives and necessitated that she be immediately handcuffed and arrested.

    Many think the cop acted entirely appropriately. Maybe they should erect a statue at the airport to honor his meritorious service. The President thinks statues, monuments and bases named after Confederate traitors are inviolable symbols of heritage. Indeed they are symbols of heritage, a heritage of slavery, racism and white supremacy not some whitewashed, ginned-up, noble lost cause. While he works to ensure that those monuments continue to occupy public places of honor, why not add one more.

    Black Lives Matter!

  32. The woman mistreated the officer. She has an attitude on view for everybody to see. It’s on record now. No, I would not hire or promote this woman.
    Respect is learned as a child first to parents, then teachers and hopefully as an adult to Police and others in authority in the work world.

    The officer could have shown more restraint. But Police put up with c…p
    like this EVERYDAY. He just lost it for a moment. Those in authority are under authority. Give him the week off with pay to think about it. Hopefully, he will come back to work.

    Trust me, you do not want to live in a society without law and order. When Police do NOT do their job or come late (on purpose) to the scene of a crime after the fact and take some written notes and leave. I’ve seen this. It is not good. People need to make up their minds if they want to live in a society with law and order or just let people go crazy and burn the whole country down.

  33. Lars,

    The job of law enforcement personnel is not to use excessive force, and that shojld mean not using physical violence except in response to a credible threat where the force used is proportionate for the circumstances. The snowflake police officer falsely claimed that the woman had head-butted him to try to justify the assault he had unleashed on the woman’s head “to teach her a lesson”. “Teaching a lesson” — with physical violence — to the peacefully mouthy is not the legitimate role of any government actor, be that actor the snowflake President Trump or some snowflake, violent law enforcement personnel who are a living insult to their privileged offices/positions in society.

    A professional should show professional restraint even — and especially — in the face of any and all obnoxious loud mouths encountered in the course of duty. But here we have a situation of yet another unprofessional, “law enforcement” thug in uniform abusing citizens exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

  34. Bill,

    Why was the gun-armed officer — with an armed back-up officer right there — such a snowflake that he would feel dangerously menaced by an unarmed, woman exercising what are presumably the woman’s 1st Amendment rights to legally tell off a government agent?

  35. This is very similar to the Yoel Ramirez casé. Instead IT was an off dusty black security who aggresively assulted him infront of his children. However the police in Jacksonville want to change this hispanic man for getting assaulted. Tell me, would this be different if it was a black customer and a white security???
    Yoel Ramirez needs justice.

  36. The officer lost his composure, failed to show restraint and should be punished.

    There is no reason to think if it had been a fat assed obnoxious white woman spitting in his face, he would not have done the same thing.

    The only one who brought race into the conversation was the woman not the cop.

  37. I have been in many arguments with lots of people and I would never get in anybody face like what she did. She got what she had coming, for the simple reason she was not wearing a mask, and the fact that you are in somebody personal space. I would.
    of punched her too.

    I would

  38. Another thing that rule men shouldn’t hit women goes out the window, this is a whole new world if you think you’re bad enough to get in a man face like that then she should be man enough to expect to be punched. Remember this people every action has a reaction. I’m a fighter and I never would walk up on a man like that . What did she think was going to happen. This was self defense

  39. She deserved it. The guy is only human and shouldn’t have to take her crap. Anyway, he’s a lousy puncher. She didn’t go down. Maybe it was only a slap. But on the other hand, given what’s now going on, he should have shown some restraint. Everybody has a camera. He’s probably. dumb.

  40. You disrespect a police officer then accept the consequences. That lady was begging for it.

  41. All you dumb mofos saying that he should have shown restraint…..well he did….she was still standing after he properly bitch slapped her fat ass and stop acting like you wouldn’t have done the same thing.

  42. You have an enraged woman goading, shouting insults in your face with her Covid-19 spittle flying in your eyes….. looks like self protection to me. Both parties were acting on emotions. Still, it was obviously the woman who was the provocateur, in my opinion.

  43. Both participants are out of line. However I would not consider the officer’s action professional. Are we sure these officers are actually receiving de-escalation Training. Because if so I have not seen any evidence on this video. Perhaps the police should supply video proof of the officers attending these training sessions and not just a signature or initials on some form.

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