Bay Harbor Islands Police officer suspended over wife’s racist social media comments

BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, FLA. (WSVN) - A Bay Harbor Islands Police officer has been suspended for supporting his wife’s anti-Muslim comments on social media.

Police Cpl. Pablo Lima is facing backlash for “liking his wife Hallandale commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub’s racist anti-Muslim social media post on Facebook about Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib” in January 2019, in which Lima-Taub called her a “Hamas loving anti-Semite” and stated, “She is a danger and would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”

The post caused a commotion at city hall when the commissioners ended up condemning Lima-Taub’s comment.

“My colleague believes it’s acceptable to spread hate,” Hallandale Beach Commissioner Michele Lazarow said.

One year later, as her husband applies to be the Bay Harbor Islands Police Department’s next police chief — Lima is one of 35 candidates who applied for the position — Lima-Taub said he is now being accused of making inappropriate posts and liking offensive comments on social media.

She said she knew the allegations were coming and explained why.

“My husband received a phone call in which he was threatened to be blackmailed and that if he put in for chief, that you all would be here,” Lima-Taub said. “The only thing my husband is guilty of is liking some comments that were in defense of me not being a racist.”

7News received a code on his application, which said that he has been with the department for over a year.

After learning about his social media activity, the Bay Harbor Islands Police Department immediately placed Lima on paid leave.

The department released a statement regarding Lima’s suspension saying in part, “The content of the social media posts that were brought to our attention are not consistent with our town’s values and policies. Corporal Pablo Lima is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. State law prohibits us from discussing details of an open internal affairs investigation.”

“He’s been unfairly suspended and accused of doing something that he did not do,” Lima-Taub said.

Lima also served as vice president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, and he has 38 years of law enforcement experience across Miami-Dade County and Broward County.

According to police, the investigation could take three months.

Meanwhile, Lima-Taub is asking the town manager to turn his attention to an investigation into blackmail.

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