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Positive viral selfie of police comes crashing down after officer’s Facebook comments discovered

Facebook post, above, is an example of negative posts about what started as a positive police department image

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The Gainesville Police Department in Florida is very active on social media. The department was getting lots of positive attention with a selfie of three officers about to go out on patrol to help out during Hurricane Irma. The Gainesville Sun’s Deborah Strange described it this way:

The photo has gotten 181,000 comments, one calling the officers “hunkapotumuses,” and 517,000 likes and 276,000 shares.

The post sparked other similar police photos from Gainesville and police departments around the country. But then it took an ugly turn.

The problem apparently came when someone trying to learn more about Officer Michael Hamill (in the center of the original picture) shared what they discovered, or it came because someone already knew something about the officer and decided to let the world in on this secret. It’s the downside of sudden fame.

In question are two Facebook posts made years before Hamill joined the department in October of 2016. GPD spokesman Ben Tobias confirms the department is now reviewing a complaint against Hamill.

Deborah Strange, Gainesville Sun:

Hamill writes: “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.”

In another screen shot from a 2011 post, Hamill writes: “so I find it funny that people will talk about how our government needs to do something about our economy and in reality it’s 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 Gainesville Police Department prides itself with our philosophy and mission of compassion, inclusion, and respect and will fully review the matter,” he (GPD spokesman Ben Tobias) said.

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