City of Miami Police Officer Andrew Mesa, a 10-year veteran of the department, has been relieved of his duty, with pay, after a post he wrote on his Facebook page went viral.
The post, which has since been deleted, was in response to the drive-by shooting death of 8-year-old, Jada Page. It included an impassioned video from Jada’s cousin, Eugene Spence, begging for people in the community to come forward with information.
“I know somebody knows something, man, so at the same time we want justice for Jada,” Spence writes.
Officer Mesa shared the video, along with a fuming rant about the community’s resistant to speak out about violence and also suggested that police officers are now afraid to use deadly force, even when it’s justified.
Speaking about Page’s killer, he says, “What will happen if they force police to defend themselves and deadly force is the only option... Will you say their hands were up? Then come burn our city down? Will the lucky cop loose (sic) his job and get blasted on the media as a killer and face false murder charges?” Mesa ended his post using the hashtag #GoGetTheKillersYourSelves.
Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox News Latino that Mesa was just expressing a frustration that other officers are also feeling – though the way he worded it may have been misinterpreted.
“…Law enforcement officers are frustrated with communities that stay tight lipped and won't turn in individuals that murder innocent children like little Jada,” Ortiz said. “That's what people need to focus their energy on, not a Facebook post that may have been misconstrued. #justice4JADA”
Jada Page’s godmother, Valencia Gunder, posted a message on Facebook incorrectly saying that Mesa was fired. Ortiz, the union president, responded to the post by saying how sorry he was about Jada’s death.
But, he added, “let me be clear, law enforcement didn’t kill Jada."
“We are exhausting EVERY lead to put those cowards that took this precious girl's life to prison. Help us help you!”
Jada was killed by a gunshot to the head in front of her home on Aug. 28 as she and her father were getting ready to go to the movies. Two men pulled in front of the family’s Northwest Miami-Dade home in a Ford Fusion or Focus and opened fire.
Jada’s father, James Page, 32, who was loading items into a car in front of the home, was also shot. He is expected to recover. Police believe he was the target, but have not released information as to the reason.