A 38-year veteran officer was disciplined for supporting his wife’s criticism of Tlaib’s anti-Semitism and anti-Israel positions.
By United with Israel Staff
Florida policeman Pablo Lima was suspended from his job last Thursday for “liking” his wife’s social media posts, including one that called US Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district Rashida Tlaib “a Hamas-loving anti-Semite.”
On May 6, 2019, Lima’s wife Anabelle Lima-Taub, who is a municipal commissioner in Florida, posted the comments after Tlaib blasted Israel for defending itself against hundreds of rockets shot at its citizens from the Gaza Strip. The Hamas onslaught left five Israelis dead and wounded dozens of others.
Lima-Taub was born in Haifa and is Jewish.
Tlaib tweeted, “When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free? Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families,” adding “#FreePalestine.”
Lima also “liked” another of his wife’s posts, which said, “[Tlaib] gets to spew her hatred of Jews and others not of the Islamic faith and it’s ok not to defend yourself?”
Though the Bay Harbor Islands police department has a social media policy that prohibits any speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages, or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion, or any protected class of individuals” and says that officers who violate the policy “shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of their employment,” Lima never commented on any of his wife’s posts.
“The content of the social media posts that were brought to our attention are not consistent with our town’s values and policies,” Town Manager J.C. Jimenez said in a statement. “Corporal Pablo Lima is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. State law prohibits us from discussing details of an open internal affairs investigation.”
The suspension came two days after Lima submitted an application to become the town’s next police chief. The Miami Herald is taking credit for the suspension after it reported Lima’s Facebook and Instagram “likes” to town officials, according to the news site.
Saturday night, a group held a “silent rally in support of the suspended police officer. Former Bay Harbor Islands mayor Linda Zilber said, “I’m very familiar with Corporal Lima. He is a kind, wonderful human being,” she said, according to WSVN Florida news. “He supports everybody on the island, no matter what age — old like me, or young like the kids, and everybody in between. He is so kind that I can see where it hurt him, because his wife was hurting, so he was there to support her.”
“Throughout my 38 years of law enforcement experience my reputation has been impeccable!” Lima said, according to the Herald. “I took the role (and still do!) of conducting myself ethically very seriously.”
Lima is on paid administrative leave from the Bay Harbor Islands police department. He is a corporal in the department and former vice president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association.
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