Florida Union Pres Wanted To Recruit Wayward Cops, But The Sheriff Said 'No Thank You'
This weekend, the Florida Fraternal Order of Police announced a plan to recruit terrible, racist, violent cops from across the country to serve in the Brevard County Police department. All of the cops who were tired of being told they can't beat up old Catholic Worker guys or pull college students out of cars and shock them with tasers for no reason, he said, would be welcome there and the city would have their backs if and when they felt the need to assault a citizen for funsies, adding the hashtag #movetowhereyouare♥️. AW.
Plus, lower taxes! And the space program! Ok, he didn't say anything about the space program, but it's where Cape Canaveral is.
Facebook Post: 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! #lawandorderflorida #movetowhereyouare♥️
While the post was soon removed, Brevard County FOP President Bert Gamin claimed responsibility for it and stood by it in comments to Florida Today:
"Our citizens have a right to protest peacefully and legally. They do not have a right to block roadways, trespass on private property or disobey lawful commands from law enforcement officers," he wrote in response to emailed questions from FLORIDA TODAY.
He also defended the incidents in Buffalo and Atlanta.
"The police had the legal authority in both cases. At the time the warnings were provided, the citizens were already breaking the law. Those citizens chose to disregard the warnings. It led directly to escalations and confrontations with the police. When we issue lawful commands/warnings, citizens have a responsibility to comply. The reality is failure to comply leads to escalation."
"Failure to comply" should not mean the cops have free rein to assault people in any way they see fit. I am sorry, but if those cops in Buffalo, in full on riot gear, were so afraid for their lives due to the oncoming threat of a 75-year-old Catholic Worker walking very slowly that they had to push him down on the ground so hard that the guy literally bled from his ears. That is not an appropriate response.
Also, leaving a protest in a car is not a "failure to comply" no matter how much the police might not like the thing they were protesting.
This, friends, is why the AFL-CIO needs to dump the FOP.
On the bright side of things, it turns out that ol' Bert Gamin does not actually have the ability to recruit all of the bad cops in the land to come beat the shit out of innocent people in Brevard County. That distinction belongs Sheriff Wayne Ivey, and he would like to be very clear that the Brevard County police department will not be an asylum for wayward cops.
"To be clear, the 'Brevard County F.O.P.' page and organization has no official affiliation with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and was not authorized in any capacity by me or our agency to recruit or comment on our behalf!!," Sheriff Wayne Ivey said on his own social media page. "The comments made by their members do not in any way represent the views of our agency and were made as individuals who were not acting in the capacity of a Law Enforcement Officer!!"
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
It's certainly strange to be on the side of a Sheriff and opposing a union president, but it's 2020 and the FOP is trash anyway. Perhaps it is time for Gamin and all of the terrible cops he loves so much to consider employment elsewhere. Like for instance with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which I have just learned is a thing that still exists. They're hiring!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse