A Florida police officer is under fire for failing to help dying car crash victims — and it was all caught on tape by a dashboard camera.
Off-duty Miami Police Sergeant Javier Ortiz came upon the car crash scene that ended up killing two University of Miami graduate students, Ying Chen and Hao Liu, according to WFOR-TV.
With medical equipment in his car, Ortiz jumped into action to try and help the victims.
“I immediately started CPR on the female. It was just me. I had no one to work on the male and I was waiting for help to arrive,” Ortiz told WFOR.
Authorities did arrive but it was the help part that was still missing.
Pinecrest Officer Ana Carrasco arrived on the scene shortly afterward. According to WFOR-TV, Ortiz directed her to work on trying to resuscitate the man.
“I got no response. She just stood there,” told the news station.
Dashcam footage shows Carrasco not moving in to help as well. She does wave some bystanders back but for the most part was not seen within the dashcam’s field of view helping in any way.
Watch WFOR-TV’s report (Content warning: some images might be considered disturbing):
“I said it again and again and again,” Ortiz said. “There were people, civilians, yelling at her to please do something and she did absolutely nothing.”
The Miami Herald noted that she did get a pair of gloves from her cruiser and gave them to Ortiz, who the newspaper described as “the oft-controversial police union chief.”
The police department launched an investigation, taking witness reports and an account from Carrasco. WFOR-TV obtained the 32-page report and a recording Carrasco sharing why she didn’t take action:
A recording of Carrasco’s statement says, “I actually made a visual assessment on the male facing down. I didn’t see him breathing I didn’t see his lungs or chest expanding or any signs of life.”
Later she said, “Based on my training, education, experience I was concerned flipping the male victim over. I was concerned it could cause cervical or spinal injury and maybe kill him. I don’t know if he’s dead or not. I run back to my car to see if I have more gloves to see if I can search for any vital signs at that time rescue arrived.”
Here’s a bit more of the dashcam footage (Content warning: some images might be considered disturbing):
The punishment recommended in the report was a week suspension without pay, which has Ortiz fuming over what he considers a “lenient” punishment.
“She has no business wearing a badge and a gun,” Ortiz told WFOR. “Somebody that wears a badge and gun takes an oath, and part of that oath on or off duty is to save lives and she didn’t do it.”
Pinecrest Police Chief Samuel Ceballos told WFOR in a statement that he could override the punishment recommendation, but the news station noted that any disciplinary action will need to be approved by the Pinecrest village manager.
The Miami Herald reported that Carrasco has been off-duty since late January.