A Miami police captain previously accused of racist behavior and brutality against the city’s Black citizens took to the podium at a recent Miami City Commission meeting to declare that he is, in fact, a Black man.
Capt. Javier Ortiz left folks visibly confused with his bizarre spiel in which he referenced the “one-drop rule” and claimed half his family is Jewish.
“I’m a black male,” Ortiz claimed. “Yes, I am. And I am not Hispanic. I was born in this country. That’s how I feel.”
Ortiz, who’s been the subject of numerous complaints and authored a number of racist posts about the police killings of Black men, made the remarks during a Friday meeting addressing claims from several Black officers who said their complaints about discrimination and inequality within the force had gone largely ignored, Miami New Times reports.
Members of the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association (MCPBA), a union supporting the city’s Black officers, complained last year that Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina had done little to address their concerns. During Friday’s meeting, the association also criticized Ortiz and cited documents proving he’d lied on a 2014 lieutenant’s exam, marking his race as “Black.”
Ortiz claimed he was Black, yet again, on his 2017 captain’s application, the documents show. He didn’t always identify that way, however.
In an awkward exchange, Commissioner Keon Hardemon asked Ortiz if he marked himself as Black or white when he first applied for work at MPD.
“I think I put white male — I know I put white male, but I don’t know if I put Hispanic,” the police captain responded. “No, listen, I know who I am.”
That’s when Commissioner Joe Carollo chimed in, asking Ortiz, “When did you have this, uh, coming to, uh, God moment that you were black? When did God tell you that?”
“Well, I learned that there are people in my family that are mixed and that are black,” Ortiz answered.
It was a stunning claim coming from Ortiz, whom the Miami Herald describes as a “brash and controversial cop” who has had no qualms about the racist remarks he’s made in the past. He previously faced criticism for complaints of using excessive force and for using social media to defend police shootings of African-American men, writing in 2016 that the killing of Tulsa, Oklahoma, man Terrence Crutcher was “justified.”
“He didn’t have his hands up after all like the media is reporting,” Ortiz commented on a Facebook post, adding “#unfortunate, but justified.”
His reaction was the same following the 2014 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, whom Ortiz smeared as a “thug” for playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park.
The list only goes on, with the police captain doodling a demon’s face onto the mugshot of a Black defendant, blasting a woman who posted video of a police beating, and even picking a fight with superstar Beyoncé for paying homage to the Black Panther Party during her 2016 Super Bowl halftime performance.
On Friday, however, Ortiz conveniently pulled the “I’m Black” card to defend himself against claims of racism.
“Oh no, you’re blacker than me — that’s obvious,” Ortiz told Commissioner Hardemon, who’s Black, adding, “And if you know anything about the one-drop rule, which started in the 20th century, which is what identifies and defines what a black male is, or a Negro, you would know that if you have one drop of black in you, you’re considered black.”
Watch more in the clip below.