State Watch

Hispanic Miami police captain suspended after saying he identifies as black due to 'one-drop rule'

A Miami police officer has been suspended after making a claim in a public meeting last week that he could identify as a black man because of the "one-drop rule."

Miami Police Capt. Javier Ortiz appeared in front of Miami's city commissioners last week to face an allegation that he identified himself as a black man on an exam so that he could get a promotion, NBC News reports.

"The question is why is it that every time he finishes an exam, he goes back to white Hispanic male?" Sgt. Stanley Jean-Poix, president of the majority-black Miami Community Police Benevolent Association, questioned.

In the hearing, Ortiz reportedly denied being Hispanic, though he admitted to identifying himself as a white man on previous documents.

"I learned that there are people in my family that are mixed, that are black," Ortiz argued. "And if you know anything about the one-drop rule, which started in the 20th century, which is what identifies and defines what a black man is, or a Negro."

According to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) on Wednesday, Police Chief Jorge Colina had relieved Ortiz of his duty.

Rubin Roberts - chairman of the NAACP's Miami-Dade branch - told The Miami Herald earlier this week that Ortiz should be fired. 

"The city should be made aware that the statement he made is incendiary," Roberts told the paper. "He's not in any way considerate of black men or women's plight."