TEL AVIV – A senior Miami police officer has been suspended after a video emerged of him throwing out a Jewish Bible and a box engraved with a Star of David, saying it was “crap,” and he was “taking out the trash,” NBC Miami reported.
As he tossed the Tanakh onto a truck bed, Roberto Destephan is heard saying, “We don’t need this s–t either, man.”
“This crap? F–k this. Taking out the trash, dawg,” he added.
Attorneys John and Andrea Cunill said they unearthed the controversial video but did not say how.
“When we got the video we were appalled, shocked. The law firm said immediately we have to put this out there and let the community see what’s happening,” John Cunill said.
Destephan is also the vice president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police, the report said. The FOP released a statement supporting Destephan, claiming the video was doctored and being used as blackmail.
“Part of the video was taken years ago when the FOP union office was full of mold and termites,” the statement read in part. “Various items including religious books and other miscellaneous items were discarded for health reasons. The books were contaminated due to the mold and termites and needed to discarded [sic] into the trash.”
Miami police Chief Jorge Colina said Destephan was being suspended pending an investigation.
“A disturbing video has surfaced in which a City of Miami Police Sergeant is seen discarding religious contents while making anti-Semitic comments,” Colina said in a statement Friday. “The City of Miami Police Department has suspended the employee pending an open Internal Affairs investigation.”
“The actions of this employee were found to be inconsistent with the mission and values of our department,” he added. “As Chief of Police, I will continue to uphold the expectations of professionalism and ethical behavior of all our officers at all times. I would like to reassure our citizens of all faiths that we stand in solidarity with them.”