A Florida police organization has said it will re-hire those officers accused of misconduct, and the offer is fueling outrage.
“Lower taxes, no spineless leadership or stupid mayors raging at press conferences … Plus … we have your back!” County Brevard F.O.P. added in his post.
“Minneapolis officials … we will not disband our agencies or surrender … we are engaging in Florida,” the post said.
Those two posts garnered hundreds of angry comments, with many saying the posts only proved why the police should be defended.
“You support police brutality and by offering this state as a safe haven for bad police officers will not be tolerated. Therefore, the police should be defended and relieved,” one comment said.
Both posts were then deleted, and Brevard County F.O.P did not return CNN’s request for comment.
“Police had legal powers in both cases,” Gamin said in an email to Florida today. “By the time the warnings arrived, citizens were already breaking the law. They chose to ignore the warnings. This led directly to escalation and conflict with the police. When we issue legal orders / warnings, citizens have a responsibility. The reality of non-compliance leads to escalation.”
Gamin, according to his LinkedIn page, had been a lieutenant in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years, but Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey distanced his office from the union.
Ivey added that the union’s comments were “extremely distasteful and insensitive” to “critical issues happening in our country,” and that his office “in no way approves” the content.
Todd Goodyear, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told CNN that the department is currently trying to determine if Gamin has violated any policies.
“While we find his comments disturbing, the constitution still provides certain protections regarding freedom of speech,” Goodyear said. “If there has been a breach of the rules, I’m sure it will be resolved.”
The Fraternal Police Order, which is the largest law enforcement organization with more than 330,000 members, did not return CNN’s request for comment.