A high-ranking member of law enforcement in South Florida is under investigation.
Davie Police Chief Dale Engle has been placed on administrative leave over allegedly disparaging remarks about the sexual orientation of a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who died earlier this month from complications of COVID-19.
The Broward County Fraternal Order of Police says that Engle claimed the death of BSO Deputy Shannon Bennett was partially due to his “homosexual lifestyle.”
Mike Tucker, chief of staff of the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, sent a letter to the Davie town manager last Tuesday. Tucker’s letter said that officers and service aides who expressed worry about the virus were sent to a back parking lot. Here, Engle “allegedly berated them, and yelled about a ‘…backstory’ which proclaimed that Deputy Shannon Bennett contracted and died from the virus because he was a “homosexual who attended homosexual ‘sexual’ events.”
Bennett, who was a 12-year veteran of the BSO, was gay and was planning to marry his partner in December.
He died at a hospital on April 2, according to officials, after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
Late Saturday night, a spokesperson for the Town of Davie confirmed that Engle has been placed on leave.
1/2 Town Administrator Richard J. Lemack Has Issued the Following Statement Regarding Police Chief Dale Engle:
As of April 11, 2020, Police Chief Dale Engle was placed on Administrative leave pending further review of allegations brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police. pic.twitter.com/sUyuz4CGEm
— Town of Davie, FL (@TownofDavie) April 12, 2020
A statement reads, “Police Chief Dale Engle was placed on administrative leave pending further review of allegations brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police. The allegations will be investigated in accordance with the Town’s Equal Employment Opportunity compliance policy by outside counsel.”