North Miami Police Chief William Hernandez said a rookie police officer was fired for reportedly kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach during an altercation last week.
The victim went into pre-term labor after the officer purportedly kicked her in the stomach, according to WFOR-TV.
What are the details of the incident?
Ambar Pacheco, a 26-year-old rookie of the North Miami Police Department, reportedly kicked Evoni Murray in the stomach on Wednesday night after a bizarre interaction.
Murray told WFOR that she and her boyfriend, Joseph Predelus Jr., were walking on Washington Avenue at Espanola Way when they saw Pacheco and her sister.
Murray said that Pacheco and her sister were crying, and that the two women seemed to think that Murray had made a comment about the women.
According to Murray, she did not.
“They thought that we were talking about them and we weren’t. They just got belligerent and they got loud. They tried to jump me because they thought I said something,” Murray said, and revealed that during the scuffle, she was kicked in the stomach.
Paramedics later took Murray to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where she delivered her son prematurely. Murray said that despite the premature delivery, her son is in fine condition.
Murray told WFOR, “It kind of troubles me to know that people who are supposed to be protecting and serving are hurting us but I know it’s not all of them. One apple doesn’t spoil the bunch. It’s pretty overwhelming that the incident had to happen. You know we forgive but we do not forget.”
“I feel a reprimand is necessary for the officer to show that no matter who you are or whatever occupation you have, fighting and putting your hand on someone else should not be allowed,” she added.
What did the police chief say?
In a Friday statement, Hernandez said, "Due to Ms. Ambar Pacheco's recent off-duty actions, her employment with the City of North Miami Beach has been terminated effective immediately."
Pacheco was charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, which is a second-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, 15 years' probation, and a $10,000 fine.
According to WFOR, the minimum term after conviction is 21 months, unless special circumstances stipulate otherwise.
The police report said that Pacheco admitted to kicking somebody during the scuffle, but did not know who she kicked.
“I saw red and beat the s*** out of her,” Pacheco reportedly said.
Pacheco appeared to be a troubled rookie police officer.
According to WFOR, Pacheco maintained a spotty — if best — personnel file since she joined the force in September.
WFOR found that Pacheco's initial probationary period was extended because she had to improve upon her knowledge of general police procedures, situation awareness, officer safety skills, and arriving to work on time.
The file also noted that Pacheco was involved in three accidents with her cruiser, causing property damage, and reportedly told superiors that two of the three accidents could not have been avoided. Pacheco received an official warning after her third infraction.
WFOR reported that Pacheco was relieved of duty with pay, and disallowed from carrying a concealed weapon or sport a badge.