The northern city of Gainesville in Florida was hit badly during Hurricane Irma. Emergency service personnel worked hard to save lives and properties but one particular cop called Michael Hamill became an instant hero as many showered praises on him for doing an extraordinary work, after he posted a photo on Facebook showing how he and two other officers had worked all-night to help victims of the hurricane.
The post received more than 181,000 comments, 517,000 likes and over 300,000 shares. Later, Hamill told TIME that he’s “never had this much attention before”. But Hamill was suspended earlier this week after the Gainesville Police Department received complaints regarding anti-Semitic posts on Facebook.
Six years ago, Hamill reportedly made an offensive joke about Jews by writing: “Stupid people should be put in an oven and dealt with the Hitler way”.
In one post dated April 2013, Hamill allegedly wrote: ‘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’.
Local observers say the older posts are being circulated by media outlets to discredit Hamill for the good job he did during the disaster.
The Gainesville Police Department issued a statement confirming the allegations against Hamill were being investigated.
GPD Statement regarding Officer Hamill: pic.twitter.com/ngz8YpOtGC
— Gainesville Police (@GainesvillePD) September 15, 2017
Hamill joined the Gainesville Police Department in 2016. This means he penned the post when he wasn’t a police officer. Whether he could be punished for the post is still unclear.