A police officer from southern Florida was suspended from his job for supporting his wife after she posted on social media statements accusing Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of being a “Hamas-loving antisemite,” the Miami Herald reported.
Cpl. Pablo Lima, who serves the police department of Bay Harbor Islands in Miami-Dade County and is a former vice president of the police union, was put on administrative leave and is the subject of an internal affairs investigation, according to town manager J.C. Jimenez.
“The content of the social media posts that were brought to our attention are not consistent with our Town’s values and policies,” Jimenez said in a statement, according to the Herald.
Lima’s wife, the Haifa-born Anabelle Lima-Taub, serves as the city commissioner for Hallandale Beach, Florida, and is considered a controversial figure in her city.
In January 2019, a vote was held in Hallandale Beach City Hall to condemn Lima-Taub for her Facebook posts targeting Tlaib, including calling her a “Hamas-loving antisemite,” and said that she might be a “martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
Though Lima-Taub was convicted 3-2, a group of dozens of people came to the city hall waving Israeli flags and holding signs in support of her statements.
In addition, she was unapologetic about her posts, and doubled down on them in further posts.
“I am offended by anyone who is NOT OFFENDED by Rashida Tlaib’s hateful rhetoric and pro BDS and other radical dangerous views calling for the obliteration of Israel, literally off the face of the map,” she said in one of her posts.
“I remain unapologetic for my views that she is a danger to the peace process and demand an apology of her for relabeling Israel as Palestine on a map hanging on her wall in her congressional office.”
Speaking to the Herald, Lima-Taub explained that her primary issue with Tlaib is the congresswoman’s support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which she considered equal to supporting Hamas and Hezbollah.
A week after the vote, Cpl. Lima shared a news story on Facebook about the incident and liked five comments expressing support for his wife. However, these posts also contained provocative statements regarding Tlaib, including suggestions that she “took her [congressional] oath on the Koran,” “openly hates Jews” and that she “supports the people who flew planes into our [New York] twin towers and killed over 5,000 people.”
However, Lima didn’t post any comments himself.
Nonetheless, according to the Herald, the Bay Harbor Islands police department prohibits any speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages, or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion, or any protected class of individuals,” even over social media.
In addition, this may have ruined Lima’s further career.
Lima, who has served in law enforcement for nearly four decades, was a candidate to take over as the next police chief of Bay Harbor Islands.
“Throughout my 38 years of law enforcement experience my reputation has been impeccable!” Lima wrote, according to the Herald. “I took the role (and still do!) of conducting myself ethically very seriously.”
Taking to Facebook, Lima-Taub wrote a long post supporting her husband in the face of “corruption” in southern Florida, as well as the work of an unnamed lobbyist.
“Pablo knows that as an elected official, I am not at liberty to delete any comments affiliated with my political work,” she said.
“As he always does the right thing and he was liking comments that reiterated support of me not being a racist which he now is being punished and suspended for.
“This matter is being investigated. I am sure Pablo would love to comment on this matter. However… a law enforcement official is not allowed to comment pending an internal investigation.
“To my amazing and honorable, husband, Pablo Lima: I admire you, love you, support you, and stand by your side. When this matter concludes, I will work diligently to uncover the trails, which I am sure will lead to a lobbyist who brings nothing but misery and corruption to every South Florida city he touches!”
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