Florida police organization head suspended after offering to hire officers facing misconduct claims
The president of a Florida police organization has been suspended with pay over Facebook posts offering to hire police officers in other cities charged with assaulting protesters.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Tuesday that Bert Gamin, president of a Florida chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, has been suspended pending an internal investigation into the posts.
One of the posts read, “Hey Buffalo 57…and Atlanta 6…we are hiring in Florida. Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences… Plus… we got your back!”
The cases referenced by the posts include an incident in Buffalo, N.Y., in which police shoved 75-year-old activist Martin Gugino to the ground, leaving him bleeding and motionless on the sidewalk. After the officers were suspended, 57 members of their unit resigned.
In Atlanta, meanwhile, six officers are facing felony charges over a video of them dragging an African American couple from their car amid recent protests.
“Yesterday afternoon I authorized an internal investigation into (Gamin’s) actions. He has been suspended, pending the outcome,” Ivey said at a news conference Tuesday, according to USA Today.
The Brevard County sheriff went on to call the posts, which were later deleted, “despicable” and “disgusting.”
Department policy prevents the department from suspending Gamin, as he has not been charged with a crime, Ivey said, adding that any further action against him hinges on the outcome of the sheriff’s office’s investigation.
The sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that the “Brevard County F.O.P.” page, the source of the posts, was unconnected to the office.
“Our Sheriff’s Office members are represented by another association who also had no knowledge or association with the post as collectively, we work together to run one of the most professional agencies in the country!!” Ivey wrote.
“While I absolutely understand everyone’s concerns regarding this post and it’s inflammatory nature, please understand and accept that our agency had nothing to do with it’s [sic] occurrence and does not condone it’s content in any way!!” he added.
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