The president of a Florida Fraternal Order of Police chapter has been suspended from the sheriff’s office after he used the chapter’s Facebook page to offer jobs to police officers with excessive use of force accusations.
On Tuesday, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey announced he had suspended Lt. Bert Gamin after Gamin encouraged officers with a history of excessive use of force accusations to apply for a position in the state of Florida. The posts were seen on the Brevard Fraternal Order of Police Facebook page over the weekend, which sparked an outcry from local law enforcement officials and residents, NBC News reports. The posts have since been deleted. “I’m embarrassed by it. I’m infuriated by it, and I’m having it investigated,” Ivey said.
On one of the posts, Gamin wrote, “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!” Gamin made another post that was directed at officers at the Minneapolis Police Department, where four officers have been charged over the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. The post encouraged MPD officers to join their ranks in Florida. “Minneapolis officers, we WILL NOT disband our LE agencies or give in. we are hiring in Florida. Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, no conflicting orders, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences. Plus, we got your back!” Gamin wrote.
Gamin has been an officer at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for over 25 years and now serves as the president of the Brevard County Fraternal Order of Police. Ivey said Gamin’s posts “did not, not only represent our agency views, didn’t represent my views, and it didn’t represent the other law enforcement agency’s views who have also had to deal with the backlash of his comments.” He added that the posts go against the structure of the Brevard County Fraternal Order of Police recruitment process.
Ivey says he is still contemplating whether Gamin should keep his job or not, but for the time being, Gamin has been suspended with pay, per the police department’s policy. Ivey said he had previously “talked to” Gamin about his social media posts. Gamin issued an apology, saying his emotions got the best of him. “In my recent FB post, I let my emotions and frustration get the better of me as a result of all the continually negative media portrayals of law enforcement. My intent was to respond to some of the negative messaging and offer a supportive message to all the men and women in law enforcement. Clearly, I failed doing so,” he wrote. Ivey said the Brevard County FOP had no affiliation with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, according to NBC News.