A city of Miami police sergeant was suspended from his job after a video surfaced of him tossing a Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) while using some choice words to describe it.
According to NBC Miami, the video shows the officer, Roberto Destephan, tossing the book, along with a wooden box engraved with the Star of David, into a truck bed.
“We don’t need this s–t either, man,” he says in the video, tossing the box and then the book into the truck bed. “This crap? F–k this. Taking out the trash, dawg.”
Attorneys John and Andrea Cunill discovered the controversial video, the report said.
“When we got the video we were appalled, shocked. The law firm said immediately we have to put this out there and let the community see what’s happening,” Cunill said.
Destephan is also the vice president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which released a statement Friday claiming the video was doctored and used as blackmail.
“Part of the video was taken years ago when the FOP union office was full of mold and termites,” the statement read in part. “Various items including religious books and other miscellaneous items were discarded for health reasons. The books were contaminated due to the mold and termites and needed to discarded into the trash.”
The FOP statement also claimed the video was “political blackmail” provoked by a current internal political election cycle.
Miami police chief Jorge Colina said Destephan is suspended pending an open internal affairs investigation.
“A disturbing video has surfaced in which a City of Miami Police Sergeant is seen discarding religious contents while making anti-Semitic comments,” Colina said in a statement Friday. “The City of Miami Police Department has suspended the employee pending an open Internal Affairs investigation. The actions of this employee were found to be inconsistent with the mission and values of our department. As Chief of Police, I will continue to uphold the expectations of professionalism and ethical behavior of all our officers at all times. I would like to reassure our citizens of all faiths that we stand in solidarity with them.” (INN)
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