Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Police forced to apologise after lieutenant encourages fired cops to get jobs in Florida

Police organisation originally defended officers who were dismissed because they had ‘legal authority’ 

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 09 June 2020 15:14 BST
Police supporters cheer as a charged Buffalo officers exits the courthouse

A Florida police lieutenant has apologised after he encouraged cops dismissed over misconduct during nationwide protests to apply for positions in the state.

In an apparent hiring advert posted to Facebook on Friday night, the Lieutenant Robert Gamin, who heads the Brevard county branch of a nationwide policing organisation, suggested that Florida would welcome cops who have been fired during protests against systemic racism and police violence.

The post, which appeared on the Brevard County chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police’s (FOP) Facebook page, has since been deleted.

On Monday afternoon, Mr Garmin walked-back on his actions after admitting that he had posted the mock advertisement.

“I let my emotions and frustration get the better of me as a result of all the continually negative media portrayals of law enforcement,” he told WFTV news. “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.”

It comes as campaigners call on police departments to be disbanded, defunded and reformed after George Floyd’s police-involved killing last month.

Some would have found the mock advert insensitive, which addressed two police units who were charged and condemned in the past week for using excessive force during protests.

“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,” read Mr Gamin's post.

The “Buffalo 57” were those officers who resigned over the suspension of two colleagues who were charged with assaulting a 75-year-old man during protests last week.

While in Atlanta, six cops were charged with using excessive force on two black students and others who were leaving a protest.

Brevard County’s Sheriff said on Monday that the Brevard County FOP page and organisation has no official connection to the department.

In a statement, it condemned Mr Gamin's actions as being “extremely distasteful and insensitive” amid nationwide tensions.

The post had seen more than 2,000 comments and 1,000 shares on Monday morning, when it was believed to be deleted, said USA Today.

Mr Gamin earlier defend his conduct online, and argued that both the “Buffalo 57” and “Atlanta 6” had the “legal authority in both cases”.

“Our citizens have a right to protest peacefully and legally,” Mr Gamin told Florida Today. “They do not have a right to block roadways, trespass on private property or disobey lawful commands from law enforcement officers.”

The organisation made another post on Saturday that called on Minneapolis cops to relocate to Florida, while condemning the decision to disband the city’s police department.

“Minneapolis officers ... we will not disband our agencies or give in ... we are hiring in Florida,” read the second post.

WFTV added that Mr Gamin, who is employed by the sheriff's office, is now under investigation.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in