Some wild shit is forever going down in Florida; this time it’s Broward County.
During a ceremony earlier this week honoring Broward County Sherriff’s Office deputies, a ballsy city official aired out an officer for allegedly falsely arresting him years before.
Surely, the last thing Deputy Joshua Gallardo thought he was walking away with —during an event honoring good police work—was egg on his face.
Gallardo was read for filth by Tamarac City Commissioner Mike Gelin in front of everybody.
“You probably don’t remember me, but you’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago,” said Gelin, who is black, to Gallardo, who is white. “You lied on a police report. I believe you’re a rogue police officer, you’re a bad police officer and you don’t deserve to be here.”
Gallardo, standing only a few steps away, looked directly at the commissioner, nodding, and then responded with a thumbs-up gesture before walking away.
According to the Miami Herald, Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez then reportedly grabbed the microphone and tried to make amends, saying: “We appreciate as a whole BSO and everything you do for us.”
Her diplomacy didn’t cut it.
The incident, which occurred during the Wednesday meeting, left many in the chamber gagged and bound (i.e. stunned, aghast, in a state of shock).
The newspaper reported that it also fired up the prideful law enforcement community.
Sheriff Gregory Tony, who is black, met with the commissioner and deemed Gelin’s actions “unacceptable,” during an interview with CBS 4.
“We talked to him about it, about how I was disappointed with his behavior and it was unacceptable,” Tony said. “Surprisingly, the commissioner was very receptive to it and understand he could have took a different approach and we’re gonna work together to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”
On Friday, the Law Enforcement Today website published an article with the headline: “Police union pulls endorsement, Mayor slams criminal city leader who attacked cop at awards ceremony” and includes Gelin’s mug shot.
Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Association President Jeff Bell said that Gelin’s stance violated the city’s ethics rules and has borrowed a page from the “left wing Democratic Congressional playbook” in a statement.
Broward County court documents, obtained by the Herald, show that Gallardo arrested Gelin, who was not yet a commissioner, in 2015 as he used his cellphone to record police actions as they responded to a battery incident.
Gelin “failed to comply with [the deputy’s] commands to move from the area,” the report stated.
The case was reportedly later dropped, but Gelin still had an ax to grind.
The commissioner, who holds an elected seat, said he will move forward in a positive and constructive manner. (Shout out to C. Isaiah Smalls II)
But Broward County—known for its dodgy record of police brutality—has another chink in its armor after the incident was circulated and lampooned on social media.