Coral Springs, FL – A Latino Coral Springs police sergeant was suspended without pay for two weeks after he posted offensive videos to TikTok that made fun of Mexicans being sent home by President Donald Trump.
Coral Springs Police Sergeant Gilbert Monzon told investigators that he meant no harm when he made the satirical videos “to connect with the newer guys at work” by “trying to think outside the box,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Sgt. Monzon, who is Cuban, said he was laughing at himself in the video because he is “often referred to as the Mexican sergeant” at the Coral Springs Police Department.
But the videos made their way to someone who didn’t think they were funny and that person emailed the mayor and police department officials to express his displeasure and said he had been “deeply offended,” WTVJ reported.
The police department investigated and their internal affairs division determined that both of the TikTok videos Sgt. Monzon made had been inappropriate and violated the department’s social media policy, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
One of the videos featured a robot-like voice “scanning for Mexicans” that stopped at an officer of Venezuelan descent and announced, “We’ve got a Mexican.”
That officer was laughing in the video, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
In another of Sgt. Monzon’s TikTok videos, someone sang “Donald Trump, send me home, back to where I belong, back to Mexico, to see my papa.”
One of the videos even contained some clips from “South Park.”
Sgt. Monzon defended the videos as being satire intended to “humanize the badge,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“I cannot see that being offensive in any way,” he told investigators.
But the police chief disagreed and recommended that Sgt. Monzon be demoted to patrol officer, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
That didn’t ultimately happen and his rank stayed the same after the matter was settled, but Sgt. Monzon was given an 80-hour, or two-week, unpaid suspension as punishment.
The 36-year-old sergeant is a 12-year veteran of the Coral Springs Police Department and was one of the heroes who rushed into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to rescue wounded students after the Parkland Massacre in 2018, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Broward County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Rod Skirvin defended Sgt. Monzon and said the video was “sent from one officer to another and neither officer found it offensive.”
Skirvin called Sgt. Monzon a “hero” with a tenured career on the force and said the investigation was nothing more than a “witch hunt” bolstered by internal politics at the Coral Springs Police Department, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The police department said that regardless of Sgt. Monzon’s intent, the videos did not reflect the standards of the Coral Springs police.
The investigation concluded the police sergeant had “engaged in behavior that could be construed as mean spirited, abusive, and unprofessional,” WTVJ reported.
“Both videos disparage the plight of Mexicans in the United States,” the internal affairs investigation said. “The audio tract in the first video mocks border agents scanning for Mexicans, and in the second video it’s making light of the U.S. President sending Mexicans back to Mexico.”
The agency said that in addition to his two-week unpaid suspension, the sergeant was required to create a “sincere” PowerPoint presentation with which to “educate the department,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Then Sgt. Monzon had to present the PowerPoint to the entire department at the beginning of each shift’s roll call to educate them on the responsible use of social media and Coral Springs PD’s social media policy.