STUART Fla. – The mayor of Stuart, Florida encountered a police officer in a local store and said, “I didn’t know we were serving pig tonight.”
Police union response to “. . . serving pig tonight.”
As a result, a union representing several thousand-law enforcement officers in south Florida is furious.
The incident occurred Jan. 11. Mayor Eula Clarke (pictured) walked into Taylor’s Grocery, reported CBS 12. While in the store she encountered Stuart Police Officer Edward Fitzgerald. He was inside talking to a store employee.
It was at that moment the derogatory comments were attributed to the mayor. “I didn’t know we were serving pig tonight,” she said to the officer.
“The poor guy walked out hurt, really hurt,” said John Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association. “That’s coming from the mayor of your city.”
“We’re outraged,” said Kazanjian. “How does a community leader, a public servant do that to one of our officers? It’s just a slap in the face.”
Consequently, when pressure mounted, the mayor apologized. Seems like she wants to move forward.
“I am sorry for those words,” said Mayor Clarke.
“Were you trying to make a joke or why would you say such a thing?” CBS 12 asked the mayor.
“Al, I don’t want to go into it. Those words were unfortunate,” she said.
The police union is appalled. At a time when relations between law enforcement and the public are strained throughout the nation, this doesn’t help matters.
“We don’t need someone like that as a public servant,” said Kazanjian.
“I have the highest opinion for law enforcement. I value them, I value what they do,” Mayor Clarke explained. “There was no intention for any harm, or anything harmful.”
While contrition appears forced, the damage remains. Seems like the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association wants the mayor to go to the police station and apologize to every member of the Stuart Police Department.
Because of this event, the union said it will solicit an opponent during the next election in order to defeat the mayor.
“I support law enforcement. I want to move forward. I want to do the best for our community. A word was said, it was taken to be offensive by the officer and I entirely agree with his position,” said Clarke.
“My choice of words and my speech was patently offensive and I would hope that Ofc. Fitzgerald and all law enforcement officers will forgive me for this transgression,” the mayor wrote in a letter to Kazanjian.
(Feature photo YouTube video screen shot)