Joshua Gallardo had just been presented with a deputy of the month award when a Florida city commissioner asked him to come back up to the front of the room. It wasn't for another congratulations. "You probably don’t remember me, but you’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago," Gelin said to Gallardo, USA Today reports. "You lied on the police report. I believe you’re a rogue police officer, you’re a bad police officer and you don’t deserve to be here." Gallardo nodded as Gelin spoke, then gave a thumbs-up to the Tamarac commissioners and the audience as he walked away, per CNN. The arrest was made in 2015, before Gelin was elected, when he tried to stop a fight between two homeless men. When the Broward County deputy arrived, Gelin said, he ordered him to back away and quit recording the fight; Gallardo said Gelin ignored repeated commands to step back. The charges against Gelin were later dropped.
Taramac's mayor thinks Gelin was out of line during the ceremony. Michelle Gomez took the microphone and reassured the law enforcement officers. "We appreciate you," she said. She later issued a statement saying, "This was neither the time nor the forum to air personal grievances." A sheriff's official also was critical, saying that "in a fit of anger" at the ceremony, Gelin "selfishly chose to take the spotlight away" from the deputies being honored. The police union supported Gelin in his campaign last year, but now says it won't endorse him for re-election. Gelin issued a statement calling the arrest a "traumatizing experience" that he still thinks about. "I had a flashback and a flood of emotions came to me at the meeting and so, I spoke up," the commissioner said. (Read more Broward County stories.)