The president of a Fraternal Order of Police chapter along Florida’s Space Coast has resigned after being told he would be fired following an internal investigation over a social media post 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 Friday that Lt. Bert Gamin was no longer with the agency.
The message posted last 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, four officers were fired after video showed them using stun guns on two college students pulled from a car that was in traffic during a large protest. The four fired officers and two others face criminal charges stemming from the incident.
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.
“While there’s no question that each of us has a First Amendment right to express our opinions and feelings, Lieutenant Gamin’s comments showed very poor judgment and caused considerable embarrassment for this agency,” Ivey said at a news conference.
• • •
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 NON-LETHAL AND LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS? A guide to what’s used in local and national protests.
WHAT ARE ARRESTED PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH? About half the charges filed have included unlawful assembly.
CAN YOU BE FIRED FOR PROTESTING? In Florida, you can. Learn more.
HEADING TO A PROTEST? How to protect eyes from teargas, pepper spray and rubber bullets.