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Deputy Gets 150-Hour Suspension For Anti-Muslim Social Media Posts

Orlando, FL – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office suspended a deputy for almost an entire month without pay for making offensive social media posts about Muslims and illegal immigrants.

The administrative investigation began after a civil rights group complained to the sheriff’s department about some of Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Johnson’s social media posts, WTVJ reported.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wanted the Orange County sheriff to conduct a thorough investigation of Deputy Johnson and accused him of making offensive comments on Facebook.

The group’s attorney, Taj Murphy, wrote in the complaint that Deputy Johnson “has made hateful, racist, and anti-Muslim statements under the color of authority of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office,” WKMG reported.

The Orlando Sentinel was able to obtain a copy of the investigation’s findings through a public records request.

On Feb. 21, 2020, Deputy Johnson posted an article about radicalized Muslims and expressed his opinion, WKMG reported.

“WAKE Up America, the Muslims are taking over and they are the most intolerant people when it comes to other religions, the Democrats only care about a vote, but with this radicalized people take over the United States you will know why because we stood there and did nothing to stop this!!! Donald J Trump for president for another 4 years!!” the deputy commented above a picture.

He also vented his frustration with illegal immigration in the United States on another post that showed mugshots of illegal aliens who had been arrested for a crime, WKMG reported.

“And the Democrats are okay with illegals in this country and are okay with giving them amnesty!! Wake the mofuggin up folks!!!!! Trump 2020,” Deputy Johnson posted on Jan. 4, 2020.

The investigative records showed that when Deputy Johnson was interviewed, he admitted that his post was “offensive towards all Muslims,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.

He said he was only “trying to describe a small percentage of radicalized Muslims that only represent a very small percentage of the followers.”

The posts were made to Deputy Johnson’s personal Facebook page, but the investigation found that it could easily be “associated” with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office because Deputy Johnson had posted numerous pictures of himself in uniform on it, WKMG reported.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said he had updated the department’s social media policy after he was sworn into office more than two years ago and has warned he will administer “harsh discipline” to those who ignore it.

The investigation into the complaint about Deputy Johnson’s social media found “unbecoming conduct” and “bias and disrespect” toward Muslims, WKMG reported.

Sheriff Mina suspended Deputy Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, for 150 hours without pay.

The sheriff said that the deputy has also been placed on disciplinary probation for three months which means he cannot take home his patrol vehicle or work off-duty, WKMG reported.

He said the veteran deputy had no history of other intolerant conduct.

The sheriff’s department also investigated five other Orange County sheriff’s deputies who had reacted to Deputy Johnson’s Facebook posts, WKMG reported.

None of the deputies reported the post and when asked, none of them saw a problem with the content of it.

Sheriff Mina explained to reporters that deputies only have a duty to report social media violations that they observe on duty, WKMG reported.

CAIR said it was pleased with the deputy’s suspension and the fact that he got more than just a reprimand.

Murphy said he hoped that the sheriff’s department would accept the activist group’s offer to provide their Islam 101 training to Orange County sheriff’s deputies, WKMG reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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