A Florida police officer is facing disciplinary action after he shared a violent Facebook post threatening gun-control activist David Hogg, one of the survivors of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Coconut Creek Police K-9 officer Brian Valenti shared the incendiary comment in the wake of Hogg’s planning of a so-called “die-in” protest at Publix after he discovered the grocery store had donated to gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, whom Hogg labeled an “NRA sellout.”
The “die-in” consisted of protesters lying both inside the Florida-based stores and in their outdoor parking lots. As a result of the demonstration, Publix announced it would suspend its contributions to all political causes.
So what did the cop do?
Valenti, according to the Sun Sentinel, reportedly posted a comment under a photo of Hogg, writing that he hoped “some old lady loses control of her car in that lot.”
The 45-year-old law enforcement officer, a 23-year veteran of the police department, has since taken down his inflammatory comment, but not before an observer noticed it and took a screenshot of the post, which she forwarded to Coconut Creek commissioners and Police Chief Butch Arenal.
Rod Skirvin, a union leader and recently retired Coconut Creek detective, told the Sentinel Valenti is “distraught” over the incident.
“He feels terrible and is very willing to apologize in person,” Skrivin said. “We are going to speak to the chief on Tuesday when he goes back to work. There will be disciplinary repercussions for him.”
Arenal said Valenti’s comment was “meant as a joke” but admitted it was “in poor taste.” He added the officer “will be offering an apology, as he has indicated that he wants to do whatever he has to do to make it right.”
The matter will be investigated “more fully” on Tuesday, Arenal noted.