One of the four Florida police officers who has been raking in attention for photos posted to Facebook by their department is now being investigated for anti-Semitic comments.
The positive attention has quickly turned negative for officer Michael Hamill. He was the officer who remarked that at first his wife was uncomfortable with all the attention he was getting as one of the “hunkapotumuses.” The questionable Facebook posts were made before he joined the Gainesville Police, the New York Post reported.
The original photo that sparked the “hot cops” label, a selfie with three officers, Hamill in the middle, is no longer on the Gainesville Police Department Facebook page, although the selfie is included in a video post shared to the page.
The department has already taken action:
“Several citizens have brought information to our attention regarding complaints against Officer Michael Hamill. GPD takes these allegations extremely seriously,” reads the post. “Officer Hamill has been suspended with pay.”
The anti-Semitic comments in question are from posts made on Hamill’s Facebook page in 2011 and 2013. Hamill joined Gainesville PD just last year. Hamill’s Facebook page has since been deactivated.
People posted screenshots of both posts. The April 24, 2011, post reads:
“so I find it funny that people will talk about how our government needs to do something about our economy and in reality its 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”
The April 23, 2013, post reads:
“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.'”
The Gainesville Police still plan to create a calendar of their officers to capitalize on the attention they are getting for their looks. The calendar suggestion was made by commenters on the Facebook page who want to see more of the officers. They suggested the proceeds go to charities dealing with hurricane relief. They have not stated whether Hamill will still be a part of that project.
Gainesville police received quite a bit of positive attention early last year after an officer engaged neighborhood children in a basketball game. He originally received a complaint that they were playing too loudly, but instead joined them in a game wearing his police uniform. The video went viral and attracted the attention of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, WFLA reported.
O’Neal went back to the Gainesville neighborhood with the police to also play basketball with the children. He thanked the police for their service and left the children with money and a positive message, along with another viral video for the internet. The incident and its follow up also led to the creation of a nonprofit organization focused on building trust between police and youth called the Basketball Cop Foundation, and made Officer Bobby White a celebrity.