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The “critical injury” of Miami-Dade Police Director Ramirez is a sad and shocking event

Miami-Dade residents woke up Monday to shocking news: The county’s top cop, Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez, apparently shot himself and suffered a “critical injury” late Sunday after being apprehended by police outside Tampa.

We wish Ramirez, his family and our law enforcement community, where Ramirez is known, all the very best. He started as a street cop in 1995 and has climbed through the ranks over the past 28 years. Today, his department has 1,100 members and a total of 4,500 employees.

South Florida knows Ramirez from his appearances on many televised crime-related news conferences, where he keeps the public calm and informed. Ramirez took center stage after the 2021 Surfside apartment collapse.

It’s unclear why or how Ramirez shot himself after police stopped near Tampa. His wife was in the car with him and they were on their way home after attending a law enforcement conference.

In May, Ramirez announced he would run for the created post of Miami-Dade sheriff, which is now an elected position. He is known as a fierce defender of his department and its officers and a trusted member of Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s team. She rushed to Tampa early Monday.

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Sources say police in Tampa confronted Ramirez after some altercation, but they believe the shooting occurred after the police left, Miami Herald police reporter Charles Rabin reported. Ramirez attended the Sheriff’s Summer Conference, the largest annual event for the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

In the middle of the night, the Miami-Dade Police Department issued the following press release:

“We have been informed by local law enforcement that our Director, Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Ramirez, has suffered a critical injury in the Tampa area. We understand he is currently undergoing surgery. We ask that you please keep him in your prayers.”

His condition was said to be critical but stable on Monday morning.

It’s been a busy time for Ramirez, who has campaigned for the position of sheriff and is part of the mayor’s effort to make the Miami-Dade Police Department part of the county government. All of that may now be in jeopardy. Miami-Dade is the only county in the state with no elected sheriff after voters struck down the position after a 1966 grand jury report revealed racketeering and bribery within the department. Statewide, voters reinstated the feature in 2018.

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Levine Cava last year made Ramirez a senior deputy who oversaw both the police and fire departments as chief of security and emergency response.

The self-inflicted injuries by Ramirez are not the first time a current or former Miami-Dade police chief has been involved in such a shooting. In 2015, Robert Parker, the first African American to lead the Miami-Dade Police Department, committed suicide six years after his retirement.

There remains much we don’t know about this sad turn of events. Whatever eventually comes to light, we urge the entire community to wish Ramirez, a dedicated public servant, Godspeed.

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