Video: Miami Police Officer Shoots Carlos “CJ” Gimenez in Morton’s Steakhouse Dustup
Days after a high-profile brawl between members of two Miami political families broke out over lunchtime at an upscale restaurant in downtown Coral Gables, police released surveillance footage and a 911 audio illustrating the unfolding of the scene.
Footage from Wednesday, February 9, taken from three (1, 2, 3) city-owned CCTVs that captured the scene from three different angles, does not appear to show the alleged assault, in which Carlos” CJ” Gimenez, the son of U.S. Congressman and former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, “punched” Miami City Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla on the “side of the head with an open hand” at Morton’s the Steakhouse on Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Miracle Mile. But three videos released by the Coral Gables Police Department on Friday afternoon show aspects of the aftermath involving Gimenez and the Miami police officer who accompanied De la Portilla.
In the first clip, Gimenez is seen standing next to a table outside the restaurant, apparently chatting with several people, then walking away with a friendly wave and receiving several in return. He wanders inside the restaurant, then reappears in another part of the frame a minute later with a man who seems to want to grab him.
The two appear to be talking to each other as they fight as pedestrians and cars pass over Ponce de Leon. (It was around this time that, according to the incident report, Gimenez told the man, “You’re a Miami City Police officer, you don’t have jurisdiction here.”
The plainclothes officer, whom the Miami Herald identified as Miami Police Detective Stanley Paul Noel, eventually tackles Gimenez to the ground, before the two exit frame. A few minutes later, a handful of police cars and at least 14 uniformed officers arrive.
Meanwhile, citizens were dialing 911, the audio of which the city also released on Friday afternoon.
Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency address
Caller: Corner of Miracle Mile and Ponce
Dispatcher: What phone number do you call me from in case we get disconnected? What is your name? What’s going on there?
Caller: It looks like a policeman trying to arrest or detain someone, but none of them… no one is wearing a uniform and like a fight is breaking out.
Dispatcher: OK, huh, are you sure it’s a policeman?
Caller: No, he told the other guy he was but I don’t see any…
Dispatcher: But he’s not in uniform?
Caller: No, none of them have a uniform. They are both in street clothes. It’s on the northeast corner of Morton’s, on Miracle Mile.
Dispatcher: OK, are they still there?
Caller: They are still there.
Dispatcher: Alright, give me a moment. Give me a moment.
Dispatcher: Coral Gables 911 what is your emergency address?
Caller: It’s 2333 Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
Dispatcher: Do you need the police or the fire department?
Dispatcher: What’s going on sir?
Caller: So we had a commissioner here and someone ran up to him, sort of assaulted him and we have another police officer from Coral Gables here and he held him down, so he just needs backup there.
Dispatcher: Alright, give me a moment. OK sir?
Caller: Okay, just around the corner from Ponce de Leon and Miracle Mile.
Dispatcher: Alright, give me a moment. And you said it was inside 2233 or outside?
Caller: Oh, it looks like a policeman is coming right now.
Dispatcher: Is it outside 233 or inside?
Dispatcher: Agreed. Alright, give me a moment. It’s 2333, isn’t it?
Caller: There are already two officers on the scene. Yeah.
Dispatcher: Agreed. Is it the two Coral Gables police officers?
Caller: Yes. The Coral Gables police are here.
Dispatcher: OK OK, were they with the right person? Were they able to reach anyone…
Caller: So I can’t see from that angle, but it looks like yes, they are. Everything is fine. There are six policemen.
Gimenez, charged with a single count of simple battery, was then booked and spent Wednesday night at Turner Guildford Knight Correctional Facility. He was released Thursday morning on $1,500 bail.