When the police director of Miami-Dade County emerged from his Tampa hotel room on July 23rd, he was met by a city officer equipped with a bullet-proof shield, while another officer had drawn their weapon. “Come out with your hands up, sir,” commanded one of the officers.
Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III exited the room dressed in civilian attire, his expression one of disbelief as a Tampa officer seized his wrists and placed handcuffs on him.
He was one of approximately twelve city officers who had responded to a report that Ramirez had made threats against his own life during a dispute with his wife outside the hotel. The couple was attending a law enforcement convention that Sunday evening.
“What are you doing?” Ramirez questioned, relaxing his arms as two officers took hold of him. “All right. You know I’m the director of the Miami-Dade police department?”
“I didn’t do anything. I don’t understand,” he exclaimed in body-camera footage released by the Tampa Police Department on Wednesday afternoon. This incident was followed hours later by Ramirez injuring himself with a self-inflicted gunshot while driving back to Miami with his wife, Jody.
The episode originated outside the hotel when police were called after an altercation near the Marriott where the Ramirezes were staying. An unidentified witness reported that Freddy Ramirez had taken out his gun and threatened his own life.
The footage reveals a hotel manager informing the police that an individual waiting for an Uber had witnessed a couple arguing, during which the man had pointed a gun at his own mouth and made threats. The witness recounted the incident to a convention attendee in law enforcement but left without providing their name, according to the manager.
During an interview captured on the body-camera footage, Freddy Ramirez denied pulling out his gun during the argument. Jody Ramirez also denied this, after initially stating she couldn’t recall the specifics of the incident.
The footage provides an unfiltered look into an evening that began with the couple socializing at a reception for the Florida Sheriffs Association convention at the Tampa JW Marriott that weekend. It concluded with Jody Ramirez tending to Freddy Ramirez’s wound on the side of I-75 during a frantic 911 call.
As a Democratic candidate for sheriff and Miami-Dade’s top police officer since 2020, Ramirez was visibly distressed after the encounter with Tampa police. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava stated that Ramirez, filled with remorse, called her later that evening and offered his resignation.
In the body-camera footage, both Ramirezes express confusion about their situation. When officers knocked on the door of their Marriott room, Jody Ramirez emerged first. Officers commanded her to raise her hands and escorted her down the hall. “Is this real?” she inquired. She later assured the police that she had no safety concerns regarding Ramirez.
During the footage, she insisted that Freddy Ramirez hadn’t threatened or harmed her. When an officer asked if he had displayed his gun and waved it around, Jody Ramirez shrugged and remarked, “Honestly, I can’t remember.” She mentioned she had been drinking. Upon further questioning, she clarified that Ramirez hadn’t pointed the gun at himself or at her. “Trust me, I’d be out of here if he pointed it at me,” she asserted.
Later, she told an officer, “I don’t recall him taking out his gun at all.”
An officer reassured her that their intention wasn’t to “put anyone in jail,” but they were concerned about her husband’s emotional state. “My husband is fine,” she replied. “He’s just upset with me right now.”
The footage depicts Freddy Ramirez in a sport shirt and jeans, his hands cuffed behind his back. According to an incident summary also released on Wednesday, police had received a report of someone seeing Ramirez outside the hotel with his gun out, threatening to kill himself. However, officers couldn’t verify the incident, and Ramirez denied it, as per the incident summary.
On camera, Ramirez told the officers seconds after being handcuffed, “I didn’t do anything. I don’t understand,” he said. “I’m the director of the police department. Don’t do this to me, man.” One of the officers responded, “We received a call.”
Ramirez spelled out his name for the officers in the footage, all the while recognizing the potential consequences for Miami-Dade’s senior police officer. “If you’re going to write a report, it’s going to blow my [self] up,” he commented.
Later, while still handcuffed, Ramirez was asked by an officer about the reported argument with his wife that supposedly escalated to him brandishing his gun. “No, sir, not at all,” Ramirez replied. “We had a discussion… Just talking about marriage stuff. We’re fine.”
Minutes later, Ramirez questioned, “Are you guys recording me?” When informed that body cameras needed to be on during a call, Ramirez responded, looking down, “I know.”
A few moments later, an unidentified officer off-camera remarked, “It sounds like a major misunderstanding.” In the background, Ramirez could be heard saying “no” when an officer asked if he had any plans to harm himself. “I’m okay,” Ramirez confirmed.
About seven minutes after his wrists were handcuffed, the footage showed an officer removing the cuffs. “I know, I know. You’re doing your job,” Ramirez said to the three Tampa officers surrounding him. “Thanks, guys.”