NEAR FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) – Two Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies have been reassigned, and a Broward County prosecutor has been fired after the trio sent out posts regarding current events on social media.
Deputies Michael Ruback and Ronald Thurston have been reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into their online activity.
Ruback, who has been with BSO for nearly 28 years, posted in reference to George Floyd: “He wasn’t killed. He’s talking, which means he’s breathing. He died because of DRUGS.”
He has been placed on leave, and BSO cited “Conduct unbecoming of an employee” and “Social media” as their reasons for taking action against him.
Thurston, a 21-year veteran with the agency, used his social media to complain about the lack of diversity within BSO.
He posted, “Everyone can talk but no 1 steps up 2 da plate 4 action. RIGHT NOW THE BROWARD SHERIFF’S OFFICE Does not have 1 Black Sergeant that’s over the Crime Suppression Team. 1 Black Sergeant in Criminal Investigation/ District Level. 3 Black Sergeants Countywide that work Criminal Investigation/Downtown. NO BLACKS IN HOMICIDE. 3 BLACK CRIME SUPPRESSION DETECTIVES IN THE ENTIRE COUNTY. 1 BLACK GANG DETECTIVE, 1 BLACK IN MONEY LAUNDERING, 1 BLACK IN MAJOR NARCOTICS, 1 BLACK K9 DEPUTY… The list goes on and on … VOTE OR DIE.”
Pastor Allen Jackson, a supporter of Thurston’s, said, “Deputy Thurston posted some numbers indicating that what Sheriff Gregory Tony is going around saying about promotions and African Americans in the agency is not true.”
However, Thurston believes, along with his supporters, that his reassignment was more about Tony’s thin skin following another social media post, when the deputy showed his support to former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
“I’m out delivering signs like pizzas. Who need 1. I’ll pull up on ya,” read the post, which was attached to a photo of a sign that read “Elect Scott Israel for Broward County Sheriff.”
Thurston passed out the signs on his day off and in plain clothes, according to his supporters.
“They were very different posts, and they’re being lumped together, and Gregory Tony is using this as a way to retaliate and to sew fear,” Jackson said. “Because he didn’t want to just target Deputy Thurston, he lumped this other guy in there to validate what he was doing to Deputy Thurston.”
In an internal affairs memo, BSO cited “Conduct unbecoming of an employee” and “Social media” as their reasons for reassigning Thurston.
Meanwhile, Amy Lauren Bloom, a Broward County prosecutor, has been fired after she posted: “When will people learn that their criminal acts and obnoxious protesting actually gets you nowhere. Act civilized and maybe things will change. I’ve never seen such animals except at the zoo. That goes for every single race and group of people out there. I’d rather be a golden retriever than a fellow human right now. Shameful.”
The eight-year veteran of the State Attorney’s Office quickly took the post down. However, the post had been shared multiple times by then.
Bloom then sent out another post apologizing, saying her words were “misinterpreted” and saying she believes in “justice for all” and “equal rights.”
However, the State Attorney’s Office has terminated her, effective immediately.
A spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office released a statement that read in part, “The views expressed in that posting are entirely inconsistent with the ideals and principles of the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the duties and responsibilities of an assistant state attorney.”
There will be a protest that will take place at BSO’s headquarters near Fort Lauderdale on Thursday at 10 a.m. to reinstate Thurston.