Most police officers do a great job. But even the best of them can make mistakes. However, these mistakes can hurt people and cost others their lives. Last month when Broward County Sheriff Deputy Joshua Gallardo was going to receive an award as the city’s Deputy of the Month for arresting a gang member on murder charges, a local politician used the opportunity to remind the Deputy of a mistake he made four years ago.
When a commission meeting in the South Florida town of Tamarac commenced on Wednesday morning, the presentation of the Deputy of the Month award was on the docket. Deputy Gallardo was set to receive the award, but Tamarac City Commissioner E. Mike Gelin recognized the officer’s name. And he did not remember it fondly.
Four years ago, Deputy Gallardo had detained and arrested Gelin on bogus charges. Gelin, an African American, could not help but see the inequality in the act and felt that this was as good a time as any to expose the hypocrisy of awarding Gallardo with the Deputy of the Month award.
During the meeting, Gelin said, “Joshua Gallardo, can you come down for a second?”
The Deputy had no choice but to comply with the high-ranking City Commissioner who was set to give him recognition as the Deputy of the Month.
When the Deputy, his chest puffed out in pride, got closer to Gelin, the City Commissioner said:
“It’s good to see you again. You probably don’t remember me. You’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago.”
While the people in the audience squirmed in their chair from the discomfort, Gelin dug into the situation, making it clear that Gallardo is not the honest cop he is being acknowledged as being.
“You lied on the police report,” Gelin said.
Meanwhile, Gallardo is taken aback. He smiles an awkward smile and shakes his head up and down like he’s a bobble-head figure.
“I believe you are a rogue police officer. You’re a bad police officer, and you don’t deserve to be here,” Gelin said.
Following this confrontation, news agencies dug into the police records. They found that Gallardo did, in fact, arrest Gelin, a black man, on the charge of resisting arrest without violence in 2015. Gallardo decided to lock up the African American politician for nonviolence while investigating a battery case at the time.
The arrest report said that Gallardo “advised (Gelin) to move back. That this was a crime scene. He advised that he was recording the incident and that he did not have to move.”
Gallardo said Gelin “failed to comply with my commands to move from the area. I repeatedly requested that he leave the area and not continue to approach me from behind.”
Although Gelin had nothing except ignore the Deputy, Gallardo, outraged by the citizen, arrested Gelin on charges that would never hold up in a court of law.
When prosecutors took one look at Gillardo’s bogus police report, they dropped the charges immediately.
Prosecutors watched Gelin’s video and saw that Gallardo falsified the police report.
“Images in the video do not support conviction,” prosecutors admitted.
What do you think about the City Commissioner’s small act of justice? Did Gallardo have karma coming for him?
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