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Deputy suspended with pay for controversial social media posts

Deputy suspended with pay for controversial social media posts (WPEC)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - A Palm Beach County deputy is on administrative leave with pay - again.

This is the second time Deputy Jason Van Dusen has been put on leave.

The first time, an Internal Affairs report shows, was for making controversial posts on social media.

Now, the new social media postings are part of his second Internal Affairs investigation, which eerily resembles the first.

Everett Stern is an Intelligence Director with Tactical Rabbit, a national investigative firm.

"Based on these posts, if you are African American, Jewish or Muslim - you're in trouble,” Stern said. “To post this type of derogatory, and racist, and, to be honest with you, purely disgusting content – I am at a loss of words for it."

1st SUSPENSION

In 2014, Stern says his team took note of Van Dusen because of what they saw on social media and notified the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

One of the posts shows Van Dusen smoking a cigar while in uniform with two bodies lying on the ground.

It reads: Taking a break after two shootings tonight.

"Why is a police officer celebrating that kind of a shooting?” Stern said.

Another posting compares Michelle Obama to an ape.

These two postings and several others were part of the Internal Affairs investigation in which the sheriff's office took action.

According to PBSO records, that internal investigation found Van Dusen's actions violated their conduct policy, but found no evidence the posts were racist.

Van Dusen was suspended for two days.

But Stern said the suspension didn't solve the problem.

2ND SUSPENSION

According to Stern, the posts started up again, and again the sheriff's office intervened and is investigating the posts.

One post from December 2015 after the San Bernadino shooting reads: We have more of a Muslim problem than a gun problem.

"I absolutely think it is a public safety issue, and that's why we are making such a big deal about this,” Stern said. “I think it is very important that Palm Beach County residents realize that this person could be the guy pulling you over on the side of the road."

Stern says he was recently questioned by the sheriff's office about other deputies who replied with comments on the controversial posts.

Van Dusen has been on administrative leave with pay for almost three months.

POSSIBLE OUTCOME

WPEC reached out to Van Dusen on Twitter, Facebook and the sheriff’s office for comment.

He never responded.

The sheriff said he cannot comment on the situation because the new case is currently under investigation.

But he did tell us he is recommending that Van Dusen be fired.

The union has requested a pre-disciplinary hearing, which will take place May 23.

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