A police chief in the US has been suspended after allegedly saying his colleague died from coronavirus ‘because he was gay’.
Dan Engle, based in Davie, Florida, stands accused of making the comments after Deputy Shannon Bennett sadly died from the virus, reports the Daily Mail.
Mr Bennett, who was engaged to be married, initially came down with a fever and headache.
Following his death Engle was allegedly heard shouting about a “backstory” in which he said Mr Bennett contracted and then died from the virus all because he was a “homosexual who attended homosexual sexual events”, the Daily Mail reports.
Mike Tucker, chief of staff for the Florida Fraternal Order of Police said if the allegations are true then they were “extremely disturbing”.
“For any reference to be made to the tragic passing of one of our brothers at the Broward Sheriff’s Office is, if true, is absolutely not only unacceptable but is just shameful,” he said.
“And it’s not indicative of the professionals of the Town of Davie that we know.”
Mr Bennett was a Deerfield Beech Elementary School resource officer and veteran of 12 years.
He worked closely with the LGBTQ+ community and was described as dying in the “line of duty” as the first law enforcement officer in Florida to pass away from coronavirus.
Mr Bennett was due to marry his fiance in December after getting engaged in his favourite place – Disneyworld.
His fiance told Local 10 : “He was the love of my life and I know his legacy is going to live on, one way or another. But he was a beautiful soul.”