BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey along with several police departments have distanced their organizations from Twitter and Facebook posts made by Brevard County F.O.P. President Bert Garmin that sought to recruit police officers from Minneapolis, Buffalo, and Atlanta who are accused of using excessive force.
“Earlier today it came to my attention that an organization identified as “Brevard County F.O.P.” had posted a comment on Facebook that was extremely distasteful and insensitive to current important and critical issues that are occurring across our country,” Sheriff Ivey posted on Facebook.
“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!! 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!!”
Ivey added that the Sheriff’s Office members are represented by another association who also had no knowledge or association with the post.
“While I absolutely understand everyone’s concerns regarding this post and its inflammatory nature, please understand and accept that our agency had nothing to do with its occurrence and does not condone its content in any way!!”
Police departments in Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach, and Indian Harbour Beach also issued statements disavowing any affiliation with the Brevard County FOP post.
Bert Gamin deleted the post from the Brevard County FOP Twitter and Facebook accounts which previously stated:
“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 [heart-shaped emoji]”
Gamin also made the same offer to Minneapolis police officers:
“Minneapolis officers… we will not disband our agencies or give in… we are hiring in Florida,” the post staed.
The inflammatory posts drew thousands of outraged replies on Facebook and Twitter. Many posts are encouraging tourists to boycott Brevard County.
The Florida Fraternal Order of Police President Robert Jenkins then asked Gamin to remove the post.
— FOP Florida State Lodge (@FOPFL) June 8, 2020
Gamin later deleted the post and issued an apology stating:
“This weekend, I made a posting on social media which was in poor taste and did not reflect the sentiment that I was trying to convey, nor that of the FOP. For that, I humbly apologize to all of you.
I would especially like to apologize to all the men and women in law enforcement across the country who report to work every day and conduct themselves like the true professionals they are. Their job is hard enough already and I’m afraid my actions just made it that much harder…“
The Brevard County FOP Twitter account appears to have been deleted entirely as of Monday.