A Gainesville police officer has been suspended with pay after the department received numerous complaints regarding him amid reports of anti-semitic posts on social media.
Many of you have seen this post. Three officers from Gainesville posing for the camera. On the left, a silly but well-built man flailing his arms. On the right, a man with perfect hair squinting. In the middle, a man sporting a neatly trimmed beard and a half smile. The photo has been dubbed "Hot Cops" in the social media world.
It's that middle officer, Michael Hamill, who's come under scrutiny after years-old Facebook posts appearing to show antisemitism have been unearthed. Now, the department is investigating the officer for the comments.
Hamill and the two others' pic was shared over 280,000 times, liked over 530,000 times and has about 180,000 comments so far. Of course, someone on social media was going dig into them (judging by the thirst-level of the comments alone).
In one from April 2013, the Sun quotes Hamill:
“Who knew that reading jewish jokes before I go to bed would not only make me feel better about myself but also help me to sleep better as well. Here is one for everybody, “What’s the difference between boy scouts and jews?” Anybody know? Well it is because “Boy scouts come back from their camps.”
Someone pointed out how 'messed up' the post was. Hamill replied, "u don't like it? don't read it then," the Sun reports.
In another post, from 2011, Hamill reportedly wrote:
“so I find it funny that people will talk about how our government needs to do something about our economy and in reality it’s YOU who needs to stop taking advantage of our system and get a life and do something with your life. Gotta love reality when it hits you in the face. Stupid people annoy me. Put them in an oven and deal with them the Hitler way. Haha.”
The post originally came out to show how officers were ready for Irma coverage. It's caused police Facebook pages around the country to post their own 'hot cops.'
The police department originally just updated the post with more information about the investigation into Hamill, but they've since taken it down.
Several citizens have brought information to our attention regarding a complaint against Officer Hamill.
GPD is reviewing the allegation and will do so in accordance to Florida law and department policy. Under Florida Law, complaint information is confidential until an investigation is concluded.
The Gainesville Police Department prides itself with our philosophy and mission of compassion, inclusion, and respect and will fully review the matter.
We reached out to Ben Tobias, GPD spokesperson, he said the post was going to come down and that nothing changed during the investigation - he just put the update there to 'buy him time' as he screenshotted the post.
First Coast News will continue to follow this story and post all updates as they come out.
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