MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami police union leader is defiant and defending a controversial email. Javier Ortiz admits to sending an altered mug shot to his colleagues. Now he’s getting criticized for it.
CBS4 News learned about the email at Thursday’s City of Miami commission meeting, where at least one commissioner expressed his anger.
It was two weeks ago when police were searching for 24-year-old Durrall Miller, accused of firing shots at two Miami-Dade police officers in Southwest Miami-Dade, hitting one in the foot.
Police found him on April 19th and shot him dead in Miami Gardens because, they say, Miller threatened to shoot police.
The very next day, Ortiz sent out an email with an altered photo of suspect Durrall Miller.
“With some red devil eyes and demon sharp teeth,” said Miami Commissioner Richard Dunn, who is outraged over the photo.
Commissioner Dunn says the shooting appears to have been justified, but calls the e-mail racist.
“That is what we do not need in the City of Miami,” said Dunn.
“That is something that I did send,” said Ortiz.
CBS4 News caught up with Ortiz on Friday. He’s also a City of Miami police officer.
“I stand by what I did,” he responded when CBS4’s Gio Benitez asked if he felt it was professional to send that out.
“That email was sent to our membership. That was not to be leaked out to the public,” said Ortiz.
“Mr. Ortiz, that is the most racist thing I’ve seen in my life. If you sent that out, shame on you,” said Commissioner Dunn.
“Absolutely no regret. This has nothing to do with race. This has to do with the fact that this is somebody that shot at two Miami-Dade police officers. This has nothing to do with race,” said Ortiz.
Commissioner Dunn says black police officers sent him the email, concerned that it makes the City of Miami Police Department appear racist.
Ortiz denies that claim and had a message for Commissioner Dunn.
“You know, Commissioner, when Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo were killed, I didn’t hear you outraged,” said Ortiz.