Demoted Miami Police Officers Will Be Reinstated as Majors

Those officers were demoted earlier this year by former Chief Art Acevedo

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Three high-ranking City of Miami Police officers who were demoted earlier this year are getting their old jobs back.

Following this vote by Miami city commissioners Thursday to add three major positions back to the city’s police department, the department confirmed that interim police Chief Manny Morales will make a written request for approval to promote three officers to fill those positions.

One of them would be Lt. Keandra Simmons, who had been demoted from major by former Chief Art Acevedo.

"The police chief for the City of Miami has stated that it is his intention to immediately restore Keandra Simmons to the position of major that she had been improperly demoted from, and that's really, really good news," said her attorney, Michael Pizzi.

NBC 6 sat down with Simmons back in August after her demotion. She was one of the highest-ranking Black female officers in the department.

“It was done with no justification and no cause behind it," Simmons told NBC 6 then.

Pizzi told us that Simmons faced retaliation for her statements in an internal affairs investigation into a high-profile couple at the department — Deputy Chief Ronald Papier and his wife, Commander Nerly Papier.

The couple was terminated over a traffic accident that Commander Papier was in and the way it was handled afterward.

"This was a wild conspiracy theory all the allegations against Keandra Simmons were contrived, fabricated and completely unfounded," Pizzi said.

The two other officers that the chief plans to promote are Jose Fernandez and Richard Perez, who were were also majors but demoted by Acevedo after that same internal affairs investigation, the Miami Herald reported.

Keandra Simmons, a Miami Police Department supervisor who claims she was demoted unfairly, is now taking legal action against the police chief and the department alleging discrimination. NBC 6's Willard Shepard reports.

"She stood her ground, she did not quit, she did not give up," Pizzi said.

Pizzi said the federal and state claims he’s filed on behalf of Simmons are still pending, but he hopes to work out the remaining issues amicably.

"The next step will be for her to go back as a major and then for us to hopefully meet with the city and have her made whole for some of the losses that she's suffered, but she is really, really ecstatic," Pizzi said.

For example, Pizzi mentioned back pay, since he said the demotion for Simmons came with a more than $50,000 dollar pay cut, as well as benefits cut.

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