Broward News

Victor Ramirez, Cop Who Slapped Homeless Man, Has History of Using Force at Bus Terminal

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Not including the most recent slap, Ramirez has ten documented use-of-force incidents while off-duty, with eight of them occurring at Broward Central Terminal -- the same place he slapped 58-year-old Bruce LaClair in the viral video.

In August 2012, Lauderhill resident Vera Brown was on her way to catch a bus when she saw Ramirez use his fists to hit a homeless man who was sitting on some steps in the terminal. Concerned, she filed a report against Ramirez soon after.

According to the internal-affairs files, Ramirez was asked by terminal security to remove a man from the Broward Central Terminal. Ramirez asked the man to leave but was ignored. He then used his foot to "tap" the man and order him to leave, but the man allegedly replied, "Drop me and take my life."

Because the man was apparently not in fear of a threat, Ramirez picked up the man's beer to motivate him to leave to leave, but the man "aggressively" grabbed the beer. Ramirez then stepped on the man's hands to prevent him from grabbing the other beer cans, and when the man resisted arrest, the cop used a "hand strike" to subdue and arrest him.

Nearly three years later, Brown remembers she saw Ramirez unnecessarily hit a man who was not posing a physical threat and she was compelled to report it.

"I was shocked," Brown tells New Times. "Why would he do that? I thought it was disgusting, really. Police officers -- we're supposed to look up to them, you know?"

Brown saw the recent video and although surprised it happened to be the same cop she reported back in 2012, she wasn't too shocked that the behavior was repeated after her report. After all, Ramirez was never disciplined -- nor was he for any of his other incidents.

"They didn't do anything back then, and I waited and waited, but nothing happened," she says. "Eventually, I just let it go."

But the allegations of off-duty excessive force go back to 2008, when Ramirez was a sophomore cop.

See also: Stop the Brutality Protest at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (Photos)

In June 2008, Ramirez suspected a woman of loitering at the bus terminal and told her to leave. When she refused, he began taking her into custody. But she refused, and Ramirez used an "arm bar takedown technique" to subdue the woman, according to the IA report.

In December 2008, Ramirez tazed a man who was allegedly getting out of control after being put under arrest for trespassing at the terminal. While in the back of the squad car, the man kicked out a window. Ramirez then used his Taser to prevent any more window-shattering.

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Ray Downs
Contact: Ray Downs