August 3, 2021
Major Keandra Simmons, a 16-year veteran of the Miami City Police Department, has been demoted – and she or he is seeking whistleblower protections.
Simmons ‘attorney Michael Pizzi, Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, mayor, city attorney and city supervisor on Sunday night of Simmons’ intention in filing complaints related to his demotion unexplained.
Pizzi also indicated his intention to move forward with a lawsuit on behalf of Simmons “on the basis of personal injury resulting from libel, racial and gender discrimination, harassment, deprivation of the First Amendment and the right to due process “.
Simmons was Miami’s second highest ranked black policewoman; as soon as ordered Liberty City; and was one of the first black female public data managers in the metropolis. Most recently, she oversaw the Miami City Police Showroom and Fleet.
She and three others were demoted late last week by Acevedo. Simmons’ salary was lower and his rank reverted to that of lieutenant in disciplinary operations.
A note sent to senior officers last Friday said Acevedo was determined to make the adjustments after speaking with each officer and members of the ward.
Simmons thinks she was focused because she didn’t help the end of the top-ranked married couple in town, former Deputy Chief Ron Papier and his wife, Cmdr. Nerly Paper.
Pizzi said Simmons believes she was demoted for statements made as a witness when questioned about the Papers’ dismissal in June and refused to support the chief’s conclusions.
Nerly Papier punctured two tires and hit a sidewalk with his town car. Her husband was appearing as acting chef at the time and the accident happened three days before Acevedo was sworn in.
In a letter to the city, Pizzi said Simmons was seeking instant reinstatement to his former rank of commander in addition to damages.
In addition to notifying the city of a future lawsuit, submitting a request for whistleblower status gives the city the opportunity to correct an inappropriate allegation and is intended to protect Simmons from retaliation.
His demotion took effect on Sunday.
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