On August 4th, Tallahassee Police Chief Revell issued a statement related to the results of a recent internal investigation stemming from a social media post made by TPD Sgt. Gavin Larremore.
Chief Revell’s statement:
“Today marked the conclusion of a thorough Internal Affairs investigation into a questionable social media post made by a member of the Tallahassee Police Department on July 9, 2020. The findings substantiated violations of TPD social media and rules of conduct policies. Based on this conclusion, the officer has been placed on an 80-hour unpaid suspension and is being demoted. Additionally, he will be required to undergo counseling.
As Chief of Police, I called for this investigation because I hold every representative of TPD to the highest standard, whether on duty or off. As we work to strengthen our relationships within the community, I am committed to ensuring we serve all citizens with trust and respect.”
In July, the Tallahassee Police Department announced that it had placed an officer on leave because of a social media post concerning the recent protests. TPD’s internal investigation found that the officer violated two TPD policies.
According to a previous Tallahassee Reports article, the officer, Sgt. Gavin Larremore, wrote a Facebook post about the recent Black Lives Matter protests. In the post, Larremore referred to the protesters as a “mob of thugs.” He also brought up the Black Lives Matter mural painted at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Gaines Street.
“By painting a huge BLM ‘mural’ in a major intersection and calling it ‘art,’ the city declared its support for an organization that spent the last month disrupting the lives of hardworking Tallahassee citizens,” he wrote. “That gang of loudmouths damaged businesses downtown, unlawfully restricted the free movement of the city’s law-abiding citizens, attacked civilians and officers (including me personally)…all while changing ‘F*** THE POLICE’ and promising to find out where we live so they could harm our families.”
A TPD internal investigation found Larremore in violation of TPD’s rules of conduct and social media protocols.
General Order 46, Procedure III, Section B, states that TPD officers cannot take actions that impair the operation of TPD, must treat associates and the public with respect, and must be civil in their relationships with the community.
General Order 78, Procedure III, Section D outlines TPD’s social media protocols. Prohibited actions on social media include discrediting the City or the Police Department, jeopardizing the safety of another member, damaging a function of the Department, and damaging the Department’s professional relationships.
The investigation found that Larremore was not in violation of the discriminatory conduct policy (General Order 46, Procedure III, Section E).
Larremore pushed back against the proposed violations in a letter to TPD Chief Lawrence Revell.
“My private conversation did not violate any policies,” Larremore wrote. “My statement was made off-duty as a civilian and was fully protected by my First Amendment rights.”
“I merely discussed how officers and civilians were attacked and LEO families were threatened by numerous members of a violent political group. While there are certainly some law-abiding members of Black Lives Matter, there are nonetheless numerous individuals associated with that organization nationwide who are intent on being destructive and violent. I was both a witness to and a victim of the criminal actions perpetrated by that faction of the Black Lives Matter movement. To deny that there is a violent and destructive element within the Black Lives Matter political movement to exalt fantasy over truth. As I stated in my interview, many of the people responsible for these actions were Caucasian, so race was never an issue,” he said.