MIAMI BEACH (VINnews) — A senior police officer who served for 38 years in Miami has been suspended from his position after allegedly demonstrating support on social media for anti-Muslim views expressed by his wife, a Hallandale Beach commissioner, according to a Miami Herald report.
Pablo Lima, a corporal in Bay Harbor Islands and a former vice president of the Miami-Dade police union, had submitted an application Tuesday to become the town’s next police chief, but after Thursday’s revelation by the Miami Herald that Lima had added likes to his wife’s controversial posts on social media, he was placed on paid leave prior to an internal affairs investigation regarding his comments.
“The content of the social media posts that were brought to our attention are not consistent with our Town’s values and policies,” Town Manager J.C. Jimenez said in a statement. “Corporal Pablo Lima is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. State law prohibits us from discussing details of an open internal affairs investigation.”
Jimenez declined to comment Thursday on whether Lima’s candidacy for police chief was still relevant.
In January 2019, the Hallandale Beach City Commission voted 3-2 to condemn Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub for a Facebook post saying that Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, might become “a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
The post was denounced as hate speech by numerous Muslim and Jewish human rights organizations, but Lima-Taub remained unapologetic, saying that Tlaib’s support for boycotting Israel equated her with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
On the day of the commission vote, dozens of supporters of Lima-Taub held Israeli flags and signs calling Tlaib a terrorist outside Hallandale Beach City Hall. The group included a broad spectrum of political views including anti-BDS activists as well as far-right Internet personality Laura Loomer.
On Jan. 30, 2019, one week after the vote to condemn the Israeli-born Lima-Taub, Pablo Lima shared a story on his Facebook page from WLRN.org titled, “Why A Hallandale Beach Panel Condemned A Commissioner For Anti-Islamic Language.”
Lima added a “like” to five comments showing support for Lima-Taub, including multiple comments that appeared to espouse anti-Muslim sentiments. One comment that Lima “liked” included the line: “This [piece of s—] took her oath on the Koran.”
“Screw these liberal commisioners and mayor,” the comment said. “When will these politicians grow some cohones and start supporting America and it’s Americans. They talk about [Lima-Taub] being a racist and spewing hate. These [expletive] forget that this muslim [Tlaib] supports the people who flew planes into our NY twin towers and killed over 5000 people and more dying from exposure still 18 years later.”
The comment continued: “This [piece of s—] took her oath on the Koran. She openly hates Jews and talks about how they should all die or be killed. Remind me again why you would not support Lima-Taub?”
Lima also “liked” other extreme comments on the post, but did not post any comments below the Facebook post himself.
Lima-Taub also expressed support for his wife’s statements on Instagram, including a Sept. 11, 2019 post where she quoted a statement by U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar — one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, along with Tlaib — that “some people did something” in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Lima-Taub, using her Instagram account “@theroguecommissioner,” called Omar a “hate monger” and said the United States was “founded on Judeo-Christian values.”
“#NeverForget #911 ‘Some people did something,’ as per America’s vitriolic hate monger, @repilhan!” Lima-Taub wrote. “Those 19 Jihadi terrorists massacred over 3,000 innocent men and women, encroached on our constitutional rights and caused several billion in loss to dollars with the deliberate action to destabilize our economic stability.
“This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and we must never let the deaths of those who perished on 9/11 be in vain.”.
The Bay Harbor Islands police department’s social media policy prohibits any speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages, or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion, or any protected class of individuals.”
Officers who violate the policy “shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of their employment,” the policy says.
Lima spent over 30 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, retiring as a lieutenant in 2017. He was the vice president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association from 2006 to 2018. In the past year he worked as an officer and corporal in Bay Harbor Islands for a year.
Jimenez, the town manager, is responsible for selecting the next police chief. He did not immediately respond to a question about whether Lima is still in the runnin