VIERA — The president of a Fraternal Order of Police chapter along Florida’s Space Coast was suspended by a sheriff’s office as it investigates him for a social media post over the weekend that encouraged officers linked to departments accused of using excessive force during recent protests to apply for jobs in Florida.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said at news conference Tuesday that Lt. Bert Gamin had been suspended from his agency as an internal investigation is conducted.
"I'm embarrassed by it. I'm infuriated by it, and I'm having it investigated," Ivey said.
Earlier in the week, Gamin, president of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Brevard County, Florida had called his post "in poor taste" in a statement sent to local news media.
The message posted over the weekend on the Brevard FOP Facebook page said, "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!" It ended with the hashtags "lawandorderflorida" and "movetowhereyouare."
In Atlanta, two officers were fired and face criminal charges after video showed them using stun guns on two college students pulled from a car that was in traffic during a large protest. Four other officers were placed on desk duty.
In Buffalo, New York, dozens of police officers stepped down from the department’s crowd control unit last week, objecting to the suspensions of two fellow officers in the shoving of a 75-year-old protester who fell and injured his head.
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Coverage of local and national protests from the Tampa Bay Times
WHAT PROTESTERS WANT: Protesters explain what changes would make them feel like the movement is successful.
WHAT ARE POLICE USING? A guide to non-lethal and less-lethal weapons used in local, national protests.
WHAT ARE ARRESTED PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH? About half the charges filed have included unlawful assembly.
WHY DO POLICE CLASH WITH PROTESTERS? We looked at law enforcement rules. They urge de-escalation but only to a point.
HEADING TO A PROTEST? How to protect eyes from teargas, pepper spray and rubber bullets.
SOME NEW, SOME LONGTIME FAVORITES: Here are 15 black-owned restaurants and food businesses in Tampa Bay