GAINESVILLE, Fla. (KXAN) — An investigation into a Florida police officer’s posts on Facebook have thrown cold water on a series of “hot cop” social media posts coming out of the state during the response to Hurricane Irma.
One of the officers in a widely shared photo of three Gainesville cops is being investigated for claims he posted anti-Semitic comments on his personal Facebook page.
Officer Michael Hamill, center in the photo, is alleged to have made the posts on Facebook in April 2013, according to screenshots sent to the Gainesville Sun.
The newspaper reports that Hamill wrote that reading Jewish jokes before he went to bed not only made him feel better about himself, but also helped him sleep better. “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.'”
Gainesville police said in a statement they take the complaints about the officer very seriously and are suspending Hamill with pay. “The Gainesville Police Department prides itself with our philosophy and mission of compassion inclusion and respect and will fully review the matter.”
Another post of the officer’s from 2011 criticizes people taking advantage of the government, writing, “Gotta love reality when it hits you in the face… Put them in an oven and deal with them the Hitler way. Haha.”
The Police Department’s original Facebook post showing the three officers, with close to a million likes and shares, has since been deleted.
After the post gained an enormous amount of traction, the department put out an update saying that Hamill was already married, and that his wife was enjoying how many people were going crazy over her husband.