Florida police officer resigns during investigation over antisemitism

Officer Michael Hamill became well known in September after a selfie of him and two other Gainesville, Florida, police officers was posted on the department’s Facebook page.

By JTA
January 1, 2018 05:27
1 minute read.
Sotloff family home in Florida

Sotloff family home in Florida. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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 A Florida police officer who was suspended with pay after complaints that he posted antisemitic comments on his Facebook page resigned from his post.

Officer Michael Hamill became well known in September after a selfie of him and two other Gainesville, Florida, police officers was posted on the department’s Facebook page, showing the officers helping the community in the wake of Hurricane Irma.


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The photo received at least 181,000 comments, one calling the officers “hunkapotumuses,” and some 517,000 likes and 276,000 shares, the Gainesville Sun reported. Many online began referring to the officers as “hot cops.” The photo has since been removed from the department’s Facebook page.


 
After the photo became popular on social media, several people sent screen shots of antisemitic posts by Hamill from 2011 and 2013, years before he joined the police force in 2016.

The Gainesville Sun newspaper reported on Thursday that Hamill resigned earlier this month before a scheduled interview with the agency’s Internal Affairs department, which was investigating the antisemitic social media posts as well as allegations that he had sexual relations while on duty. Findings in both investigations could have led to Hamill’s termination.


A post from April 2013 read: “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.’”


 
A post from 2011 said: “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.”


 


A police department spokesman told the Gainesville Sun that the department is working with the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg and all new recruits will tour the museum before being sworn in.


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