South Florida police officer reassigned amid Parkland-focused Facebook posts

Officer Ericson Harrell on administrative duty with pay pending internal review

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida police officer is the subject of an internal investigation after he called the Parkland school shooting survivors "paid actors" in one of several social media posts now under scrutiny.

"Officer Ericson Harrell has been placed on administrative duty with pay pending an internal review," the North Miami Beach Police Department said in a post Monday on Twitter. "No further statement will be made at this time."

"What proof do you have?" Harrell wrote in a March 29 Facebook post. "What evidence do you have, that anyone was killed other #MSM (mainstream media) accounts, alleged witnesses and a couple of funeral processions? #StonemanDouglas #SandyHook."

Harrell's "paid actors" comment was made in a March 22 post showing five Parkland school shooting survivors on the cover of Time.

The SunSentinel first reported that Harrell was under investigation.

Jeff Kasky, the father of shooting survivor and student activist Cameron Kasky, told the Miami Herald that he got to know Harrell when they were in the police academy together.

"I know that he's a very good person," he said of Harrell. "I don't know what happened to him. I wish him the very, very best. I wish he would have called to ask me, 'Why is your name involved?' before spouting this nonsense."

Cameron Kasky co-founded the #NeverAgain movement against gun violence and helped organize last month's "March for Our Lives" event in Washington.

Fourteen students and three faculty members were killed in the Valentine's Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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