Miami-Dade County

‘It Was Very Wrong': Man in Video That Led to Miami-Dade Cop's Battery Charge Speaks

Miami-Dade officer was among 3 in South Florida charged in three separate incidents

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A man who was seen in a video that led to a Miami-Dade Police officer being charged with battery and official misconduct is speaking out to tell his side of the story.

Miami-Dade Officer Joseph Diaz was one of three South Florida officers charged Wednesday in connection with three separate incidents.

Diaz's charged stem from a July 2020 encounter with Kenny Ortega, with body camera footage showing Diaz taking Ortega to the ground after Ortega directed a profanity at Diaz after he'd had several too many drinks.

On top of the alleged battery, prosecutors allege Diaz wasn’t truthful when writing up the paperwork charging Ortega.

"I am not happy about what happened but I am happy about the results and everything that’s going on," Ortega said Thursday. "It gives justice to people that’s been victim to the same problem I’m going through. It was very wrong, it was very unfair. He was very aggressive, he used power and he handled the situation very unprofessional."

Diaz and the two other officers - one from Miami Gardens and the other from Opa-locka - were charged after a special unit set up by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle took a look at their cases.

NBC 6's Julia Bagg has more on the officers who found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

"Excessive force can never be an acceptable foundation for the policing of any community," Fernandez Rundle said. "Officers who forget that, they do a grave disservice to the people they have sworn to serve. They do grave harm to their department. And they belittle the hard work that each of their fellow officers try to accomplish in their community."

Ortega said he thinks what the state attorney is doing sends a message to the community and police.

"I’m very grateful. I’m happy about it. It brings me hope that it brings changes into the new system and we can see more results happening in the future," Ortega said.

The charges against Ortega were eventually dropped. Diaz and the other officers are presumed innocent and get their day in court.

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