20:12 GMT26 October 2020
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    A Florida chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has now issued a public apology following backlash from a recent social media post inviting recently-fired officers and cops who have engaged in questionable conduct to join a police force in Florida, where fellow cops would defend them to a greater degree.

    Brevard County FOP President Bert Gamin expressed on Monday that he deeply regrets a recent social media post authored by him and posted to the chapter’s Facebook page.

    The post in question was directed at the newly unemployed cops included in both the “Buffalo 57” and “Atlanta 6,” urging them to relocate to Florida and join a police force which presumably would defend them more than their old department. It is not uncommon for an officer fired from one force to then be rehired by a different one.

    The first referenced group received its name after all 57 officers who made up the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team in New York state resigned from their respective roles in the group shortly after two fellow cops were suspended without pay. However, they have not resigned from their jobs as members of the police.

    Initial reports detailed that the resignations came about as a show of “solidarity” alongside the two cops who pushed and injured 75-year-old man Martin Gugino last week in an incident captured on video. However, at least two officers asserted to local news station WKBW that they quit the team after learning that they would no longer be legally backed by the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, the local police union.

    “I don’t understand why the union said it’s a thing of solidarity. I think it sends the wrong message that ‘we’re backing our own,’ and that’s not the case,” one officer of the “Buffalo 57” said. That same union claimed to reporters that the officers resigned in “disgust” at the treatment of the officers now charged with second-degree assault.

    Gugino’s attorney told WGRZ on Saturday that the 75-year-old is in “serious but stable condition” and is “alert and oriented.” Buffalo officers at the scene did not provide physical assistance to the elderly man, who is seen motionless in video footage of the incident and begins bleeding from his head after being pushed onto the ground.

    The “Atlanta 6” includes the six current and former Atlanta Police Department officers who have received varying charges from Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney’s Office over their viral and violent tasing arrest of two college students on May 30.

    Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. has argued that body camera footage and other available evidence has exposed several inconsistencies in some of the Atlanta cops’ statements.

    In addition to being “viciously tased,” 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim and her 22-year-old boyfriend Messiah Young may have been set up with false firearm allegations. While no weapon was recovered from the scene, one cop involved said that officers’ escalated response was in connection to a perceived weapon. However, the DA’s review of evidence did not find any mention of a firearm until after the two students were detained.

    Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields fired two of the six involved officers on May 31, just one day after the incident in question.

    It’s possible that Bottoms, Shields and Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo were the “spineless leadership” Gamin referred to in his Facebook post, as Cuomo denounced the incident in Buffalo as “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”

    “I let my emotions and frustration get the better of me as a result of all the continually negative media portrayals of law enforcement,” Gamin said in his public apology on Monday, admitting his initial post was “insensitive” and “wrong.”

    “My intent was to respond to some of the negative messaging and offer a supportive message to all the men and women in law enforcement. Clearly, I failed doing so.”

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    Fraternal Order of Police, Police Unions, fired, misconduct, George Floyd killing, George Floyd, New York, Buffalo, police
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