One Florida police organization has said it will re-hire
those very officers accused of misconduct, and that offer is prompting outrage.
On Saturday, the Brevard County chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police posted a message on Facebook
addressed to the “Buffalo 57” and “Atlanta 6,” saying that it was “hiring.”
“Buffalo 57” appears to refer to the 57 police officers in Buffalo, New York, who resigned
from the force’s emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who were captured on video pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground.
“Atlanta 6” refers to the six Atlanta police officers who were booked
, five on felony charges, after being accused of using excessive force on two black college students who were leaving a protest in their car. In a video recording of the incident, the officers are seen breaking the vehicle’s windows, pulling the female student out of the car and tasing the male student.
“Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences… Plus… we got your back!” the Brevard County F.O.P. added in its post.
In another Facebook post made on Sunday, the organization made the same offer to the Minneapolis police, who are currently facing calls to be defunded and dismantled
after four of its officers were charged
for their involvement in George Floyd’s death.
Both posts have since been deleted and the Brevard County F.O.P did not return CNN’s request for comment.
But in comments to Florida Today
, Brevard County F.O.P. President Bert Gamin claimed responsibility for the post regarding the Buffalo and Atlanta police officers and defended them.
“The police had the legal authority in both cases,” Gamin said in an email to Florida Today. “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.”
The sheriff for Brevard County, Wayne Ivey, distanced the department from the posts, while a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office added that if any violations of policy occurred, they would be addressed.
“Although we find the comments he made disturbing, there are still some protections provided by the Constitution on free speech,” the spokesperson said. “If there was a violation of policy, I’m sure it will be dealt with.”