A South Florida official is being criticized over a video that shows him calling out a sheriff’s deputy during an awards ceremony, claiming the law enforcement officer had falsely arrested him four years ago.
City commissioner Mike Gelin on Wednesday shamed Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Gallardo during an Officer of the Month ceremony at the Tamarac City Commission meeting, according to NBC Miami.
After Gallardo and others were honored, Gelin is seen grabbing the microphone and calling Gallardo back down to the floor.
"It's good to see you again. You probably don't remember me. But you're the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago," Gelin said. "You lied on the police report. I believe you are a rogue police officer, you're a bad police officer and you don't deserve to be here."
During the confrontation, Gallardo nods his head and gives a thumbs up and walks away after Gelin is finished talking. Mayor Michelle Gomez then takes the microphone to thank the sheriff’s office.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we appreciate as a whole BSO and everything you do for us," Gomez said. "Thank you for your service to our community. We appreciate you. Please take that away from here today."
Gelin referred to a 2015 incident in which he was arrested for charges of resisting and obstructing without violence, the Miami Herald reports. He had allegedly recorded police while they responded to a battery incident.
Gelin was not a city commissioner at the time of the arrest and charges were dropped.
His decision to publicly call out the sheriff’s deputy during the celebratory event was slammed by some, including the head of the police union.
"As a public official, Commissioner Gelin's behavior towards a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy is unacceptable," PBA president Rod Skirvin said.
The union said it had withdrawn its endorsement of Gelin.
"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," Skirvin added.
Mayor Gomez also criticized Gelin for the incident and called his behavior “highly inappropriate.”
"This was neither the time nor the forum to air personal grievances. I believe this clearly violated the City’s civility code," Gomez said. "This is NOT the way we treat employees or people who work for our City. There are proper channels to follow, but the Commissioner chose not to use them."
The mayor said she talked with the city attorney about possible actions taken against Gelin and thanked Deputy Gallardo for handling the moment in a “professional way.”
Fellow Tamarac Commissioner Julie Fishman also criticized Gelin, saying he should have handled the matter privately.
"While I am a strong proponent of freedom of speech and did not give that up when I was elected, I am also a proponent of the right time and the right place," Fishman said in a Facebook post. "Our Commission recognition of the 'Officers of the Month' was neither."
In a statement, Gelin thanked his supporters writing, “wrongful arrests can have life long and career altering consequences. It is important that justice applies to everyone."