Tamarac City Commissioner E. Mike Gelin couldn’t resist the urge last week to embarrass the sheriff deputy he says booked him on bogus charges four years ago right when the officer was getting an award for excellence in policing
A Florida politician couldn’t resist the urge last week to embarrass the sheriff deputy he says booked him on bogus charges four years ago right when the officer was getting an award for excellence in policing.
Broward County Sheriff Deputy Joshua Gallardo was set to receive public praise and an accolade on Wednesday during a commission meeting in the South Florida city of Tamarac.
Officials were giving Gallardo the city’s Deputy of the Month award for his arrest of a gang member wanted for murder earlier this year.
But instead of bathing in a shower of compliments, Gallardo was forced to endure a cringey tongue lashing from Tamarac City Commissioner E. Mike Gelin.
‘Joshua Gallardo can you come down for a second?’ Gelin said, beckoning Gillardo to the commission chamber floor.
‘It’s good to see you again. You probably don’t remember me,’ he continued. ‘You’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago.’
Broward County Sheriff Deputy Joshua Gallardo was set to receive public praise and an accolade on Wednesday during a commission meeting in the South Florida city of Tamarac when Gelin confronted him on the chamber floor
Gelin said Gillardo ‘lied’ on a police report. The deputy smiled and nodded awkwardly before giving a thumbs up and walking away
”You lied on the police report,’ Gelin added as Gillardo smiles awkwardly and shakes his head up and down. ‘ I believe you are a rogue police officer. You’re a bad police officer and you don’t deserve to be here,’ Gelin concluded.
Public records obtained by WFOR-TV indicate Gallardo did arrest Gelin for resisting arrest without violence in 2015. Gillardo was investigating a battery case at the time.
Gallardo did arrest Gelin for resisting arrest without violence in 2015. The charge was later dropped after body camera evidence didn’t back up the deputy’s claim
The arrest report states he ‘advised the [Gelin)] to move back, that this was a crime scene. He advised that he was recording the incident and that he did not have to move.’
In his report, Gillardo said Gelin ‘failed to comply with my commands to move from the area. I repeatedly requested that he leave the area and and not continue to approach me from behind.’ In response, the deputy arrested Gelin, who had not been elected city commissioner at the time.
County prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Gelin after viewing his cellphone video of the incident.
‘It has been determined a strong likelihood of conviction is not present as images in the video do not support conviction,’ the county district attorney’s wrote in a closed memo.
The city attorneys noted in their document that the remarks Gillardo said Gelin made, ‘were not observed to have been made by either party,’ but added that, ‘the audio from the video footage is sometimes inaudible.’
Gillardo gave Gelin a thumb’s up before walking off the chamber floor on Wednesday. Moments later, the city’s stunned Mayor, Michelle Gomez, took the microphone back from the brazen Gelin.
‘We appreciate as a whole [Broward County Sheriff’s Office] and everything you do for us,’ she said as the clip came to an end. ‘Thank you for your service to our community, we appreciate you. Please take that away from here today. Thank you very much, be safe out there.’
Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez condemned Gelin’s remarks and said she is looking into whether he violated the city’s ordinances regarding civil discourse
A 2015 incident report obtained by local media shows detailing deputy Gillardo’s arrest of Gelin
Broward County’s police union withdrew its earlier endorsement of Gelin in a statement issued on Friday
Her remarks didn’t stop the local law enforcement community from erupting in outrage in the incident’s aftermath.
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony met with Gelin later the same day, telling the city commissioner that, ‘the venue and the comments and the way they were presented in a public setting was inappropriate.’
‘We talked to him about it, about how I was disappointed with his behavior and it was unacceptable,’ Tony told WFOR. ‘Surprisingly, the commissioner was very receptive to it and understands 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, Broward County’s police union withdrew its earlier endorsement of Gelin.
‘As a public official, Commissioner Gelin’s behavior towards a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy is unacceptable,’ Broward County PBA President Rod Skirvin said in a written statement on the matter.
‘The Broward County PBA will not endorse any elected official who treats law enforcement officers with a complete lack of respect and common courtesy the way Commissioner Gelin did in his official duties representing the city of Tamarac.’
Mayor Gomez said she was also taken aback by Gelin’s remarks, which she said may have violated the city’s civility code. The transgression could lead to Gelin being censured, suspended or even removal from office by the Governor, she said.
‘We have to look at the teeth in our civility code and see what we have available,’ The mayor said.
Gelin told local news on Friday that he’s ready to move on from the incident.
‘I had a productive meeting with Sheriff Tony yesterday afternoon and we will move forward in a positive and constructive manner,’ he said.