FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ron Thurston, who was hired in 1999, claims his recent reassignment over a violation of the department’s social media policy and unbecoming conduct is politically motivated.
Thurston’s attorney, Johnny McCray, said his client has been using his free time to campaign against Sheriff Gregory Tony and in support of his predecessor, Scott Israel. Thurston is related to Sen. Perry Thurston, Jr. who pushed for Israel’s reinstatement.
McCray did not release a copy of the post in question, but he said it was a complaint about the lack of representation African American deputies have in certain departments.
“I just think that it is fundamentally unfair for him to be singled out for making these comments,” McCray said. "
The turned over his badge and gun and was reassigned to Weston. McCray said his supporters -- who describe him as a “role model” who is “outspoken” on social issues -- are planning to protest on Thursday morning at BSO headquarters.
“BSO in no way condones opinions or statements that discredit an individual or reflect poorly on our agency,” a BSO spokesperson said in a statement.
The department’s social media policy says employees are prohibited from sharing content that could affect the morale of staff or the public’s perception of the agency. Tony and Israel are vying for the Democratic nomination in August.