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Cop up for police chief job suspended after Miami Herald tells officials he 'liked' commentary ripping Muslim US Reps. Tlaib, Omar

'Corporal Pablo Lima is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation'

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A veteran Florida police officer applying to be police chief of his department was suspended after the Miami Herald told town officials he "liked" social commentary blasting Muslim U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the paper reported.

Pablo Lima — a corporal with the Bay Harbor Islands Police Department and a former vice president of the Miami-Dade police union — submitted an application last week to become the town's next police chief, the Herald said.

Image source: WPLG-TV video screenshot

But after the paper said it notified town officials about commentary Lima "liked" on Facebook and Instagram, the department placed him on paid leave Thursday and opened an internal affairs investigation.

"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, according to the Herald. "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."

Lima did not immediately return messages seeking comment, the paper said.

What's the background?

Lima is the husband of Hallandale Beach Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub, who was condemned by the Hallandale Beach City Commission in a 3-2 vote a year ago after saying Tlaib might become “a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill," the Herald reported. Tlaib has been repeatedly called out by others for anti-Semitism.

Image source: WPLG-TV video screenshot

Lima-Taub said in a public meeting that her comments about Tlaib were part of her signing a petition, according to a Miami Herald video:

Image source: Miami Herald video screenshot

More from the paper:

The post was denounced as hate speech by numerous Muslim and Jewish human rights organizations, but Lima-Taub remained unapologetic, saying Tlaib's support for boycotting Israel equated her with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

The day of the commission vote, dozens of supporters of Lima-Taub held Israeli flags and signs calling Tlaib a terrorist outside Hallandale Beach City Hall. The group included people with a wide range of politics, including those who support Israel and denounce the boycott movement against it, and far-right Internet personality and conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer.

On Jan. 30, 2019, one week after the vote to condemn the Israeli-born Lima-Taub, Pablo Lima shared a story on his Facebook page from WLRN.org titled, “Why A Hallandale Beach Panel Condemned A Commissioner For Anti-Islamic Language."

Lima proceeded to “like" five comments showing support for Lima-Taub, including multiple comments that appeared to espouse anti-Muslim sentiments. One comment that Lima “liked" included the line: “This [piece of s---] took her oath on the Koran."

“Screw these liberal commissioners and mayor," the comment said, according to the Herald. “When will these politicians grow some cohones and start supporting America and its Americans. They talk about [Lima-Taub] being a racist and spewing hate. These [expletive] forget that this Muslim [Tlaib] supports the people who flew planes into our NY twin towers ..."

The paper said the comment also noted: “This [piece of s---] took her oath on the Koran. She openly hates Jews and talks about how they should all die or be killed. Remind me again why you would not support [Lima-Taub]?"

Lima also “liked" comments on the post that said “I applaud her," “Complete BS...." and “free speach [sic] fk them," the Herald reported, adding that another comment Lima “liked" read: “But [Tlaib] gets to spew her hatred of Jews and others not of the Islamic faith and it's OK not to defend yourself? I'm with the commissioner, awaiting the next terrorist plot to open eyes again only when something happens."

Lima didn't add his own comments to his Facebook post, the paper added. The post in question has been taken down.

The Herald also said it told Bay Harbor Islands officials that Lima "liked" an Instagram post from his wife that blasted Omar.

Lima-Taub on Sept. 11, 2019, quoted a statement by Omar ⁠that “some people did something" in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 — and then called Omar a "hate monger," the paper noted.

“#NeverForget #911 'Some people did something,' as per America's vitriolic hate monger, @repilhan!" Lima-Taub wrote, according to the Herald. “Those 19 Jihadi terrorists massacred over 3,000 innocent men and women, encroached on our constitutional rights and caused several billion in loss to dollars with the deliberate action to destabilize our economic stability. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and we must never let the deaths of those who perished on 9/11 be in vain."

Lima-Taub could not be reached for comment Thursday, the paper said, adding that the Bay Harbor Islands town manager, mayor, and police chief declined to comment beyond the manager's statement.

The Bay Harbor Islands police department's social media policy prohibits speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages, or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion, or any protected class of individuals," the Herald said, adding that violating officers “shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of their employment."

Lima's résumé indicates he spent over 30 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department and retired as a lieutenant in 2017, the paper noted, adding that he was vice president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association from 2006 to 2018.

Lima has worked as an officer and corporal in Bay Harbor Islands for a year, the Herald added, citing a cover letter he submitted Tuesday.

Rally held in support of Lima

A rally was held Saturday evening in support of Lima, WPLG-TV reported, which Lima-Taub attended.

Image source: WPLG-TV video screenshot

"We're here to support my husband," she told the station.

"Though he didn't say anything mean, his wife said something, and he just supported his wife," Linda Zilber added to WPLG. Zilber is former mayor of Bar Harbor Islands.

"Have we gone so mad in our nation that if you do this [holding an image of a Facebook "like" icon] then you get your entire career stained?" police labor expert John Rivera asked WPLG, adding that he "hope[s] this goes much higher. Maybe into the court system."

Image source: WPLG-TV video screenshot

Here's the station's report on the rally:

youtu.be

(H/T: BizPac Review)

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