Assistant Police Chief Anita Najiy was reprimanded by Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Javier Ortiz for what Ortiz called a lack of respect for the United States by not placing her hand over her heart during the Pledge of Allegiance at at Miami Police College ceremony in April.
Ortiz criticized Najiy’s actions as a political and religious statement including rumors she was a muslim. He implied that she was letting her reputed religion prejudice her behavior during times she was “supposed to be neutral.”
“If you’re not pledging allegiance to the United States, my question is what country are you pledging allegiance to?” Ortiz said. “Anyone who isn’t offended by that is not American, because when you become a U.S. citizen, you pledge allegiance to the U.S.”
As you will witness in the video below, Najiy is standing at attention during the Pledge of Allegiance with her arms at her sides and circulated the video, titled “Anita Najiy disrespects the U.S. Flag. No respect for America,” on social media on April 17. Ortiz filmed the event.
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On April 20, he wrote a letter to Chief Rodolfo Llanes, asking that Najiy be disciplined and removed as commander of the department’s Honor Guard.
The department’s police code does allow for reprimand if an officer fails to salute the flag, but makes no statement regarding an officer not covering his or her heart. In addition, part of the code of conduct for U.S. military personnel, which supersedes the police’s code, states, “when in uniform, indoors, stand at attention, remain silent, and face the flag.”
The Miami Police Department agreed with this interpretation and stated that Najiy had followed proper protocol during the ceremony. There is a big difference between being technically correct and proper actions. She showed utter disrespect for the flag and the country it represents and its totally unacceptable. How can you serve and protect if you don’t respect the red, white and blue.