27-year old Officer Alexi Figueroa, of Miami Police, is under arrest after being accused of abusing his power to take advantage of a 19-year old girl who was walking down the street on her way to her home.
A statement issuing his arrest came on Thursday after a investigation was completed by the State Attorney’s office and the Miami-Dade police. He was arrested under charges of simple battery and false imprisonment. He was released on a $22,000 bond.
The incident occurred over a year ago. He was driving around off-duty, but he was in his uniform and police cruiser.
The girl was walking home from a story when he bee-lined the vehicle, making a U-turn and heading towards her. Figueroa then called out to her, asked her for her name and number. She naively gave her his name, but told him that she did not have a phone.
He then ran into her again, telling her to get into the car. The girl said that because of his status, she felt she had to do what he said. He proceeded to ask her to be “friends with benefits,” and then kissed her while touching her breast.
The victim was shocked, she removed herself from the vehicle and continued on the ride home. She then confided her worries with her mother, who contacted Internal Affairs.
From CBS Miami:
The investigation started with Miami Police’s Internal Affairs unit. Something then made them decide to ask the Miami-Dade Police Department to investigate. The officer was relieved of duty with pay back in February 2016 and will remain relieved of duty until the conclusion of the court case and an internal investigation.
Ironically, this officer facing criminal charges was honored for valor after a 2013 incident in which he confronted a gunman who was firing off rounds in a busy supermarket parking lot and successfully disarmed the man. In the neighborhood where the incident allegedly occurred, most were withholding judgement.
“I think, to be fair, both sides should come out with what they think went on and then let the courts decide what it is,” said Gene Lomando with the Uptown Redevelopment Agency. But resident Rayshawn Williams said this doesn’t help build trust between police and the community.
“In this area we already have problems trusting officers, so that happens, it is not gonna help,” Williams said. There could be a major flaw in the prosecution’s case. When the alleged victim was shown pictures in the line up, she picked a different person but investigators said that person strongly resembled the accused Figueroa and his photo was also not in the lineup. During the investigation, police say security video captured the encounter between the officer and the girl at the scene. Furthermore, they say the video clearly shows Figueroa’s unit number.