A veteran law enforcement officer, Corporal Pablo Lima, has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations that he violated his department’s social media policy by “liking” social media posts made by people who supported his Israeli-born Jewish wife and her political views.
JPost The suspension came on Thursday, just two days after Bay Harbor Islands Police Corporal Pablo Lima submitted an application to become the next chief of his department, the Miami Herald reported.
Cpl. Lima’s wife, Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Annabelle Lima-Taub, was condemned by the commission in a 3-2 vote one year ago, after she spoke out against Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in a Facebook post.
Critics were especially incensed by Israeli-born Lima-Taub’s comment that Tlaib, who has advocated boycotting Israel and refers to the Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa as “her city,” could become “a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill,” the Miami Herald reported.
In January 2019, a vote was held in Hallandale Beach City Hall to condemn Lima-Taub for her Facebook posts targeting Tlaib, including calling her a “Hamas-loving antisemite,” and said that she might be a “martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
Dozens of people came to the city hall waving Israeli flags and holding signs in support of her statements. In addition, she was unapologetic about her posts, and doubled down on them in further posts.
“I am offended by anyone who is NOT OFFENDED by Rashida Tlaib’s hateful rhetoric and pro BDS and other radical dangerous views calling for the obliteration of Israel, literally off the face of the map,” she said in one of her posts.
“I remain unapologetic for my views that she is a danger to the peace process and demand an apology of her for relabeling Israel as Palestine on a map hanging on her wall in her congressional office.”
Speaking to the Herald, Lima-Taub explained that her primary issue with Tlaib is the congresswoman’s support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which she considered equal to supporting Hamas and Hezbollah.
A week after the vote, Cpl. Lima shared a news story on Facebook about the incident and liked five comments expressing support for his wife. However, these posts, none of which was posted by Lima, also contained provocative statements regarding Tlaib, including suggestions that she “took her [congressional] oath on the Koran,” “openly hates Jews” and that she “supports the people who flew planes into our [New York] twin towers and killed over 5,000 people.”
“But Tlaib gets to spew her hatred of Jews and others not of the Islamic faith and it’s ok not to defend yourself?” another commenter wrote. “I’m with the commissioner, awaiting the next terrorist plot to open eyes again only when something happens.”
Nonetheless, according to the Herald, the Bay Harbor Islands police department prohibits any speech that “ridicules, maligns, disparages, or otherwise expresses bias against any gender, race, religion, or any protected class of individuals,” even over social media.
In addition, this may have ruined Lima’s further career. Lima, who has served in law enforcement for nearly four decades, was a candidate to take over as the next police chief of Bay Harbor Islands.