Miami police officer relieved of duty with pay after Facebook post about Jada Page shooting
Officer Andrew Mesa uses hashtag #GoGetTheKillersYourSelves
MIAMI – A 10-year veteran Miami police officer was relieved of duty with pay Thursday because of a Facebook post he shared on his personal page.
First came the Facebook plea by Jada Page's cousin Eugene Spence, hoping to find the person responsible for shooting the 8-year-old in the head last month during a drive-by shooting.
Jada was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where she later died.
"They saw these kids get out of the car and still opened fire," Spence wrote on Facebook.
Then came the share.
Miami police Officer Andrew Mesa shared Spence's message on his Facebook page and added his own post, lashing out at a community that may question officers' decisions to use deadly force.
"What will happen if deadly force is the only option," Mesa said in his post. "Will they say their hands were up?"
He then uses the hashtag #GoGetTheKillersYourSelves.
Mesa's colleagues insist the tag was sarcastic, but acknowledge poor judgment.
Mesa was relieved of duty Thursday and has since deleted his Facebook page.
"He is speaking out of frustration," Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said.
Mea's union defended that frustration -- if not his choice of words.
"Law enforcement officers are frustrated with communities that stay tight lipped and won't turn in individuals that murder innocent children like little Jada," Ortiz said. "That's what people need to focus their energy on, not a Facebook post that may have been misconstrued."
He added his own hashtag #justice4JADA.
Rosalind Brown, Jada's mother, told Local 10 News that she didn't think Mesa's Facebook post was real when she first saw it.
Brown said she's glad action was taken, but she is more focused on planning her daughter's funeral and hoping the killer is brought to justice.
During Mesa's 10-year tenure, he was involved in a fatal shooting. He has also been sanctioned for a racially tinged argument with another officer and cited for discourtesy and violating department procedures. It is unclear whether his past played into the decision to relieve him of duty.
Jada's viewing is scheduled for Friday.
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