BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, Fla. – A South Florida police officer who had been on administrative leave amid allegations that he violated his agency's social media policy has been reinstated.
Bay Harbor Islands Police Department Cpl. Pablo Lima was restored to full duty Thursday, Town Manager J.C. Jimenez said in a statement.
An internal affairs investigation concluded that Lima didn’t violate department policy when he chose to “like” several comments to a social media post that his wife, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub, shared on her public page.
“I further find that Corporal Lima was expressing his First Amendment rights showing support for his wife,” Lt. Curtis Johnson wrote in his close-out memorandum.
Lima-Taub made headlines last year after she wrote that a Muslim congresswoman could “become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.” Her comments were later condemned in a resolution passed by her fellow city commissioners.
According to the Bay Harbor Islands Police Department’s social media policy, personnel are prohibited from speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion or any protected class of individuals.”
The questionable posts were called into question by a Miami Herald reporter, who failed to provide a sworn statement, Johnson wrote, adding that the allegations were “unfounded.”