A Miami police officer was suspended with pay Thursday after posting his personal thoughts on his Facebook page about the unsolved shooting of a young child in Northwest Miami-Dade in late August.
Andrew Mesa, a 10-year police veteran will remain suspended as the city investigates a post on his personal Facebook page Thursday. WPLG Channel 10, which first reported the story, said Mesa taunted the public about police-involved shootings — a topic of intense debate nationally the past few years as dozens of videos have surfaced that critics say show police shooting black men for little or no reason.
Miami Police Detective Freddie Burden confirmed Thursday night that Mesa had been suspended. She couldn’t confirm it was over his Facebook post.
By Thursday night, Mesa’s Facebook page had been deleted. According to WPLG, he posted this question: “What will happen if deadly force is the only option. Will they say their hands were up?” That, the television station said, was followed by the hashtag #GoGetTheKillersYourSelves.
WPLG also reported Mesa had been involved in a fatal shooting as a Miami officer and was sanctioned for a racially-tinged argument with another cop.
Javier Ortiz, president of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police said the hashtag posted by Mesa was “misconstrued,” adding it was a sarcastic remark. He suggested the community focus on turning in the killers of 8-year-old Jada Page, instead of blaming police for shootings.
“Law enforcement officers are frustrated with communities that stay tight-lipped and won’t turn in individuals that murder innocent children like Jada,” Ortiz said. “Trust me, we are looking everywhere and we will find the killer of little Jada.”
Jada was killed in front of her home in the late afternoon of Aug. 28 as she and her father were getting ready to go to the movies. Two men pulled in front of the family’s Northwest Miami-Dade home in a Ford Fusion or Focus and opened fire. Jada’s dad James Page, who was loading items into a car in front of the home, was also shot. He is expected to recover. Police believe he was the target, but haven’t said why.
Jada’s shooting death — like others the past few years of young children — stirred community outrage. Last week, her cousin Eugene Spence posted an emotional video urging anyone with any information about the shooting of his cousin to come forward. Mesa posted that video with his message on Thursday.
Jada’s killers have not been caught. A reward for their capture has increased to more than $25,000.