Shannon Bennett

FLORIDA Police Chief Suspended After Suggesting Deputy’s COVID-19 Death Linked to Being Gay

Davie, Florida Police Chief Dale Engle has been placed on administrative leave after officers claimed that he suggested that a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy’s death from COVID-19 was linked to his being a “homosexual”.

Mike Tucker, chief of staff of the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, sent a letter to the Davie town manager, which brought up an incident involving Engle. Tucker’s letter said on Tuesday that officers and service aides who expressed worry about the virus were sent to a back parking lot. Here, Engle “allegedly berated them, and yelled about a ‘…backstory’ which proclaimed that Deputy Shannon Bennett contracted and died from the virus because he was a “homosexual who attended homosexual ‘sexual’ events.”

Saturday night, a statement from Davie’s Town Administrator Richard J. Lemack confirmed that Engle had been placed on leave.

“As of April 11, 2020, Police Chief Dale Engle was placed on Administrative leave pending further review of allegations brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police. The allegations will be investigated in accordance with the Town’s Equal Employment Opportunity compliance policy by outside counsel. The Town will have no further comment until the investigation is completed to protect the integrity of all involved.”

Officer Bennett is believed to be the first law enforcement officer in Florida to die from the virus. The Broward Sheriff’s Office said he died “in the line of duty.”


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