If there was any question as to the mindset of some officers being power hungry, or indifferent to those they are meant to serve, the following of one Florida sheriff reveals the dark side of many behind the badge. Deputy Austen Callus, 23, exposed himself in a Snapchat photo bragging about almost “shooting someone” to set his head “right” bringing into question his motives for being an officer, and while he’s out on the job, now incidentally out of a job.
As Breanna Edwards for The Root writes:
The Snapchat photo, which was posted June 25, shows Deputy Austen Callus, 23, sitting in a vehicle in plain clothes. The caption read, “Nothing like almost shooting someone to set your head right lol. God I gate people with knives.” It is assumed that “gate” was a typo of the word “hate.” The incident he was referring to was a domestic violence call involving a knife.
On Thursday, Pinellas County Sherif Bob Gualtieri fired Callus, a patrol deputy, saying that the photo raised doubts about Callus’ mindset when he’s out on the job
“If you make that kind of a statement … you’re not going to be employed here as a deputy sheriff because it calls into question your thoughts, your motives, and certainly leaves the deputy and the agency in a very bad situation if something were to happen in the future,” Gualtieri said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Too right, because had Callus actually shot someone … well.
Anyway, it turns out that the Good Samaritan who called Callus out was a friend of his who reported the photo, along with several others that were taken while Callus was on-duty in his cruiser as well as off-duty. The woman told the sheriff’s office that Callus’ girlfriend has recently broken up with him and that he’d been drinking heavily.
Around the same time, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement analysts caught wind of the photo, which was making rounds on social media.
“This is the kind of cop Pinellas county sheriff’s office hires?” wrote one Facebook user who shared the photo. “Someone who wants to shoot someone just to get his head right?”
“So we can’t have somebody as a deputy who makes that kind of a statement … when he’s going through all this personal turmoil that’s going on,” Gualtieri added.
According to Gualtieri, throughout the investigation, Callus never said anything that eased Gualtieri’s concern over what the photo depicted and said.
The release of Callus from his position as deputy was the right choice to make- but how many other officers behind the badge hold the same sentiments and attitude while on duty and just don’t expose themselves as Callus, did? While the removal of Callus as an officer makes the streets all the more safer for civilians more vetting of police officers and mental health supports and screenings must be implemented to make the job safe for both the officers employed and the public they serve.
What are your thoughts on the story? Do you think Callus losing his job was justified, or do you think the whole matter was blown out of proportion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)