Note: we are republishing this story amid record high levels of political division in America. According to Pew surveys, the US ranks among the highest in the world according to how many people feel more divided than before the pandemic. More on this here: https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2021-10-15/us-most-divided-nation-in-worldwide-survey-essential-politics
The president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Sgt. Javier Ortiz, called for disciplinary action to be taken against Assistant Chief Anita Najiy for refusing to salute the American flag during a promotional ceremony.
Sgt. Ortiz called for Najiy’s removal from her position as honor guard commander.
In a letter to Chief Rodolfo Llanes, he claimed that her refusal to salute the flag "to make a political statement" was a violation of the police oath. He wrote that her actions during the ceremony at the Miami Police College were "unprofessional and disgraceful."
"She is actively refusing to show allegiance to the United States of America, which is part of our oath as law enforcement officers," he said. "This has been going on for several months."
In a video posted on the union’s YouTube channel, Najiy is seen standing with other officers in uniform during the Pledge of Allegiance. Najiy doesn’t place her hand over her heart.
"By not publicly showing her allegiance to our nation with the rest of the Miami Police Department, she is violating our oath," Ortiz wrote. "If she isn't loyal to the United States of America, what country is she loyal and allegiant to?"
"What makes you think she does not have allegiance just because of a physical actions?" Local 10's Glenna Milberg asked Ortiz.
"Because she is denouncing the United States in full police uniform and she is making a political statement by wearing that uniform," Ortiz responded.
"But is that what she's doing or that's your take on what she's doing?" asked Millberg.
"Well, what else is she doing? She's not pledging allegiance to the flag," Ortiz added.
Najiy, a 30-plus year veteran with the Miami Police Department, was promoted last year as the first female assistant chief in city history.
The Miami Police Department hasn't commented on whether any action will be taken, and only stated that it’s reviewing the matter.
Sources: Local 10