A Florida police officer, who gained social media fame for a “hot cop” photo showing him and fellow officers preparing for Hurricane Irma, is accused of making anti-Semitic remarks and joking online about Hitler and Jews.
Gainesville police said they are investigating a complaint against Officer Michael Hamill days after a selfie of him and the two other officers went viral, prompting a swarm of comments from admirers — some of which the department said “actually made our chief blush.” Local media has since reported that images from Hamill’s Facebook page reveal controversial comments from 2011 and 2013.
“Several citizens have brought information to our attention regarding a complaint against Officer Hamill,” Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias said in a statement to The Washington Post without providing details about the nature of the complaint.
“GPD is reviewing the allegation and will do so in accordance to Florida law and department policy. Under Florida Law, complaint information is confidential until an investigation is concluded.”
One screen shot is of an April 2013 post in which Hamill writes: “Who knew that reading Jewish jokes before I go to bed would not only make me feel better about myself but also help me to sleep better as well. Here is one for everybody, ‘What’s the difference between Boy Scouts and Jews?’ Anybody know? Well it is because ‘Boy Scouts come back from their camps.’
One person replied to that Facebook post, calling it “messed up.” Hamill replied, “u don’t like it? don’t read it then.”
In another screen shot from a 2011 post, Hamill writes: “So I find it funny that people will talk about how our government needs to do something about our economy and in reality it’s YOU who needs to stop taking advantage of our system and get a life and do something with your life. Gotta love reality when it hits you in the face. Stupid people annoy me. Put them in an oven and deal with them the Hitler way. Ha-ha.”
Hamill, along with officers John Nordman and Dan Rengering, captured attention after their selfie was posted along with others last weekend on the police department’s Facebook page, showing the response to the storm.
As The Washington Post’s Samantha Schmidt reported, the picture evoked responses such as “I feel faint … send help!”
“I feel safer just looking at this picture,” one person commented.
“I can’t believe how many women are objectifying these poor, fine, young, strong, handsome, brave, sexy, delicious, virile, ovulation-inducing, mouthwatering, beefy. … I can’t remember where I was going with this,” another said.
The photo also brought competing shots — from officers in Sarasota, and from three female officers in Grand Ledge, Mich.
Gainesville police initially responded in kind (though the statement has since been removed):
1. We are dying with the comments. You’ve actually made our chief blush with some of them.
2. MRS. Nordman and MRS. Hamill have also enjoyed knowing how millions of women are going crazy over their husbands.
3. We can confirm that Officer Rengering (far right with the amazing hair) IS SINGLE.
4. On another note, Officer Rengering is being placed into Cougar Prey Protective Care, similar to the witness protection program for his safety.
5. Please do not call 9-1-1 and request this group respond to your “incident.”
6. There WILL be a calendar.
“I’ve never had this much attention before,” Hamill, who said he has been with the Gainesville Police Department for about a year, told Time earlier this week. “It’s an ego boost — very flattering and funny.”
The 28-year-old said that at first, his wife, whom he married in March, was not happy about the attention.
“But she’s taking it like a champ,” Hamill told the magazine.
After the news of the investigation into the complaint against Hamill, Gainesville police confirmed that the department has also deleted the image, which had garnered tens of thousands of comments.
“With the complaint and investigation ongoing it was the right thing to do,” Tobias, the Gainesville police spokesman, said in an email to The Post.