The family of Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez, recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, released a statement Monday denying Ramirez brandished a weapon or ever threatened his wife.
Instead, the statement from a prominent Miami lawyer credited Jody Ramirez with saving the top cop’s life, rejecting a media report of a domestic dispute that brought more than a dozen officers to a Tampa hotel.
The statement is attributed to Ramirez’s wife, Jody, but is very much in the voice of the lawyer the family hired to do damage control.
It is also at odds with Tampa police and with a report in the Miami Herald that the police director was seen by three attendees at a sheriffs’ conference with his hands around his wife’s neck.
Tampa police released reports and 911 and body camera recordings that showed a call had been made from the Marriott Water Street Hotel, alleging Ramirez had put a gun to his head while arguing with his wife.
After being asked to leave the hotel with his wife, Ramirez pulled over on Interstate 75 about two hours later and shot himself in the head.
“After the seriously troubling and confusing events that had befallen them, during the drive home, with both still bewildered and distraught, Jody was able to grab her husband’s arm so that the resulting injury was serious but not fatal. She saved Freddy’s life,” the statement read.
Ramirez released the statement through attorney Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. Attorney. Coffey also occasionally does crisis public relations for some clients.
Ramirez remains at Tampa General Hospital recovering from a bullet wound that pierced one eye.
It is unknown if he will continue to run for Miami-Dade sheriff. However, the button to donate to his campaign stopped working after the July 23 incident. The most recent campaign financial disclosure showed contributions of $82,648 with expenditures of just over $12,000.
Coffey said the family had no comment on Ramirez’s political future. There was no response from the Ramirez campaign.
The statement was released to “address damaging and hurtful misinformation.”
“Jody strongly wishes to emphasize that at no time was there even a hint of physical aggression between her and Freddy,” the statement read.
Police body camera footage shows an inebriated Jody Ramirez telling police the couple had been arguing about “stuff going on” and “personal issues.”
The statement described the report that he took out his gun prior to checking out from the hotel as a “reckless allegation.”
Tampa police reports, however, were specific about a man and woman arguing when the man said he was going to “end it here” and put a gun inside his mouth. The witness, however, got into an Uber and surveillance cameras had no footage of the alleged confrontation.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that a distraught Ramirez called her and said there had been an incident and offered to resign.
The statement criticized Tampa police for placing Ramirez in handcuffs, calling it “shocking.”
“It is evident that being placed in handcuffs is a profoundly disturbing event for any who experiences it. It was especially so for such a distinguished leader of law-enforcement, with an unblemished record of more than 28 years of exemplary service in protecting the public,” the statement reads.