Bay Harbor Islands, FL – A veteran law enforcement officer has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations that he violated his department’s social media policy by “liking” social media posts made by people who supported his wife and her political views.
The suspension came on Thursday, just two days after Bay Harbor Islands Police Corporal Pablo Lima submitted an application to become the next chief of his department, the Miami Herald reported.
Cpl. Lima’s wife, Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Annabelle Lima-Taub, was condemned by the commission in a 3-2 vote one year ago, after she spoke out against Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in a Facebook post.
Critics were especially incensed by Lima-Taub’s comment that Tlaib, who has advocated boycotting Israel and refers to the Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa as “her city,” could become “a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill,” the Miami Herald reported.
Many Jewish and Muslim human rights organizations declared the post to be hate speech, but Lima-Taub refused to back down and argued that Tlaib’s beliefs mirror those of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Protesters marched on city hall to denounce Lima Taub, who was born in Israel, according to the Miami Herald.
A week after the commission voted to condemn his wife, Cpl. Lima shared a news article about his her to his Facebook page.
He then “liked” five different statements from people who commented in support of her.
“Screw these liberal commisioners and mayor,” read one comment the corporal expressed his support for. “When will these politicians grow some cohones and start supporting America and it’s 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 and killed over 5000 people and more dying from exposure still 18 years later.”
“This [piece of s–t] took her oath on the Koran,” the comment continued. “She openly hates Jews and talks about how they should all die or be killed. Remind me again why you would not support Lima-Talib [Lima-Taub]?”
“But Talib [Tlaib] gets to spew her hatred of Jews and others not of the Islamic faith and it’s ok not to defend yourself?” another commenter wrote. “I’m with the commissioner, awaiting the next terrorist plot to open eyes again only when something happens.”
Other comments Cpl. Lima “liked” included statements such as “free speach fk them;” Complete BS….;” and “I applaud her,” the Miami Herald reported.
Cpl. Lima also “liked” an Instagram post in which Lima-Taub blasted U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar for her comments about the 3,000 people who were murdered by Al Qaeda as a result of 9/11.
“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Omar said at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) event in March of 2019, according to Business Insider.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar declared.
“#NeverForget #911 ‘Some people did something,’ as per America’s vitriolic hate monger,
“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,” the commissioner added.
Cpl. Lima remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, the Miami Herald reported.
“The content of the social media posts that were brought to our attention are not consistent with our town’s values and policies,” Bay Harbor Islands Town Manager J.C. Jimenez told WPLG on Thursday.
The department’s social media policy prohibits employees from engaging in speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion or any protected class of individuals,” according to the news outlet.
Cpl. Lima joined the Bay Harbor Island Police Department (BHIPD) one year ago, after serving over 30 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miami Herald reported.
He also spent 12 years serving as the vice president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association.
“Throughout my 38 years of law enforcement experience my reputation has been impeccable!” Cpl. Lima wrote in his cover letter for the chief’s position. “I took the role (and still do!) of conducting myself ethically very seriously.”
Lima-Taub issued a lengthy statement on Facebook in defense of her husband on Friday, and said that he “refused to bow down to blackmail tactics and threats” made by a “lobbyist and his crony reporter.”
“Since my husband did NOTHING wrong, he submitted his application for the chief’s position,” she wrote. “Let’s be clear: My husband only liked comments that were in defense of me not being a Xenophobe, Racist, or Islamaphobe. He never posted anything of any nature related to race, religion, or the like.”
Lima-Taub said that Cpl. Lima did not delete any of the comments – positive or negative – because he “knows that as an elected official, I’m not at liberty to delete any comments affiliated with my political work.”
“He was liking comments that reiterated support of me not being a racist which he now is being punished and suspended for,” she added.
Cpl. Lima is unable to comment on the issue due to the ongoing internal investigation, his wife noted.
“To my amazing and honorable, husband, Pablo Lima: I admire you, love you, support you, and stand by your side,” Lima-Taub wrote.