Tamarac commissioner confronts BSO deputy during awards ceremony

TAMARAC. FLA. (WSVN) - - A Tamarac Commissioner confronted a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who was being recognized during an awards ceremony at a city commission meeting.

The incident happened at the beginning of a meeting of the Tamarac City Commission, at around 9 a.m., Wednesday.

BSO Deputy Joshua Gallardo was receiving a Deputy of the Month commendation at the meeting. A recognition ceremony is customary at most city commission meetings.

During the commendation, a BSO deputy explained Gallardo’s heroic actions.

“Deputy Gallardo was able to take the guy into custody. This guy was driving down McNab Road with a murder warrant from another country, and Deputy Gallardo was able to figure out who he is, identify him and arrest him. For that, [he is the] April 2019 Deputy of the Month.”

After Gallardo was presented with the award, Commissioner Mike Gelin took the microphone and confronted Gallardo about his previous interaction with the deputy.

“It’s good to see you again. You probably don’t remember me, but you’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago,” Gelin said to Gallardo. “You lied on the police report. I believe you are a rogue police officer. You’re a bad police officer, and you don’t deserve to be here.”

After the confrontation, the room fell silent, and other commissioners said they appreciated the deputies. Gelin, however, walked away.

“I hope that the commission of the city of Tamarac does not agree with Commissioner Gelin’s statement on that,” BSO Deputies Association President Jeff Bell said. “That cannot be the representation that the citizens of Tamarac expected from this commissioner, and it cannot be a behavior that’s tolerated by the city commission to be deemed acceptable.”

Gelin’s comments referred to his 2015 arrest for resisting without violence.

According to the arrest report, a fight between two men in front of a Salvation Army location left one man bleeding. Gelin, who was a witness, began recording the BSO response.

Gallardo said he asked Gelin “to move back, that this a crime scene. He advised he was recording the incident, and that he did not have to move.”

“I advised him he could continue to record, but that he would have to move back behind the bushes to the east side to provide space for when rescue comes,” Gallardo said in the report. “He failed to comply with my commands to move from the area … While attempting to handcuff the subject, he pulled his hands away from me and put his phone in his pocket.”

Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez thanked the deputies on their way out, but she said she was appalled by the commissioner’s comments.

“[I] did not know that this had happened,” Gomez said. “I did not think it was appropriate. It was a personal comment of something that happened in his personal life being aired in the wrong form, wrong place, wrong time.”

Gelin has since released a statement regarding his confrontation with Gallardo.

“I have no comment other than to say that I had a frank conversation with [Broward] Sheriff Tony, and we will move forward from this issue in a positive and constructive manner. I know I did not do anything wrong that day, yet I was arrested. When I shared the video with the State Attorney’s Office to prove that I did nothing wrong, they declined to file charges against me.”

Gomez said Tony called her shortly after the confrontation and said he was not happy. She added that Tony came to Tamarac and spoke with her.

“I have no idea what happened,” Gomez said. “Whatever happened four years ago, happened four years ago. It’s a personal matter.”

7News requested Gelin to share the video he referred to in his statement but he declined.

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