In a refreshing moment of honesty, a South Florida city commissioner called a Broward County sheriff's deputy a "rouge police officer" during a ceremony in which the deputy was receiving a "Deputy of the Month" award.
Tamarac City Commissioner Mike Gelin said Broward County sheriff's deputy Joshua Gallardo arrested him four years earlier on false charges while he was trying to record an investigation into two men who had been fighting in front of a Salvation Army.
Gelin was charged with resisting arrest without violence which is the go-to contempt of cop charge in Florida, especially against citizens who record cops in public. Gelin said the charge was dismissed after prosecutors viewed his video from the incident in 2015.
According to WSNV:
“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 to Gallardo. “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.”
According to the arrest report, a fight between two men in front of a Salvation Army location left one man bleeding. Gelin, who was a witness, began recording the BSO response.
Gallardo said he asked Gelin “to move back, that this a crime scene. He advised he was recording the incident, and that he did not have to move.”
“I advised him he could continue to record, but that he would have to move back behind the bushes to the east side to provide space for when rescue comes,” Gallardo said in the report. “He failed to comply with my commands to move from the area … While attempting to handcuff the subject, he pulled his hands away from me and put his phone in his pocket.”
Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez was quick to do damage control over Gelin's controversial comments.
“I did not think it was appropriate," she said. "It was a personal comment of something that happened in his personal life being aired in the wrong form, wrong place, wrong time.”
Gelin did not release his video to the media but offered the following statement.
“I have no comment other than to say that I had a frank conversation with [Broward] Sheriff Tony, and we will move forward from this issue in a positive and constructive manner. I know I did not do anything wrong that day, yet I was arrested. When I shared the video with the State Attorney’s Office to prove that I did nothing wrong, they declined to file charges against me.”
Jeff Bell, president of the Broward sheriff's union, suggested the commissioner should punish Gelin for expressing his opinion.
“I hope that the commission of the city of Tamarac does not agree with Commissioner Gelin’s statement on that,” BSO Deputies Association President Jeff Bell said. “That cannot be the representation that the citizens of Tamarac expected from this commissioner, and it cannot be a behavior that’s tolerated by the city commission to be deemed acceptable.”
Deputy Gallardo was winning a Deputy of the Month award for the month of April 2019 for arresting a man who had a murder warrant from another country.
Listen to Gelin's comments in the video above.