A Florida officer with over 30 years in the Miami-Dade Police Department was suspended for ‘liking’ year-old Facebook comments critical of Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
The Bay Harbor Islands Police Department placed Cpl. Pablo Lima on administrative leave and opened an internal affairs investigation after the social media comments he “liked” from a year ago were questioned by the Miami Herald newspaper.
A rally was held in support of Lima, a former vice president of the Miami-Dade police union, after the suspension which was ordered over his liking of social media posts and comments that appeared to show support for his views expressed by his wife, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub.
“The content of the social media posts that were brought to our attention are not consistent with our Town’s values and policies,” Town Manager J.C. Jimenez said in a statement. “Corporal Pablo Lima is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. State law prohibits us from discussing details of an open internal affairs investigation.”
Lima-Taub was condemned last year for allegedly making “anti-Muslim” comments when she accused Tlaib of being a “Hamas-loving antisemite,” saying she had “NO place in government.”
The Hallandale Beach City Commission voted 3-2 to condemn her for the remarks in January 2019 though Lima-Taub stood her ground, calling out the Michigan Democrat and first Palestinian-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress for her support of boycotts against Israel.
The Miami Herald reported on a Facebook post and various comments supportive of Lima-Taub that were “liked” by her husband. Though Lima never made any comments of his own, just checking the thumbs-up icon on Facebook apparently sealed his guilt as the newspaper confronted town officials about the officer’s views.
Lima came on the radar after he applied for the Bay Harbor Islands police chief job, touting his experience after three decades with the Miami-Dade Police Department where he moved up to the rank of lieutenant before getting hired as a corporal by the Bay Harbor Islands department a little over a year ago.
But his resume is apparently not worth as much as year-old Facebook activity.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations shared news of Lima’s suspension as part of their “Islamophobia Watch.”
CAIR Islamophobia Watch: Rally held in support of officer suspended for supporting wife’s anti-Muslim comments on social media
Cpl. Pablo Lima was recently suspended for social media “likes” indicating support for anti-Muslim comments.https://t.co/WT3Z0V7gWL
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) January 19, 2020
Lima-Taub, who was at the rally to support her husband over the weekend, reiterated that he had done nothing but support her.
“There isn’t anything racist or xenophobic about my husband,” she told WPLG-TV. “The only thing my husband is guilty of is being supportive of me.”
She added that the officer has “been unfairly suspended and accused of doing something that he did not do,” noting that she expected the allegations made against him.
“My husband received a phone call in which he was threatened to be blackmailed and that if he put in for chief, that you all would be here,” Lima-Taub said, according to WSVN.
Others also defended the law enforcement veteran.
“Though he didn’t say anything mean, his wife said something, and he just supported his wife,” former mayor Linda Zilber said.
“Have we gone so mad in our nation that if you do this then you get your entire career stained?” police labor expert John Rivera asked at the rally.
“I hope this goes much higher,” he added. “Maybe into the court system.”
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