A city of Miami police sergeant is in hot water after a video surfaced of him tossing Jewish religious scripture -- and using some choice words to describe it.
The video shows Roberto Destephan tossing the Tanakh, or the Hebrew Bible, and a wooden box engraved with the Star of David into a truck bed.
"We don't need this s--t either, man," he says in the video, tossing the box and then the book into the truck bed. "This crap? F--k this. Taking out the trash, dawg."
Attorneys John and Andrea Cunill discovered the controversial video.
"When we got the video we were appalled, shocked. The law firm said immediately we have to put this out there and let the community see what’s happening," John Cunill said.
Destephan is also the vice president of Miami's Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP released a statement Friday, claiming the video was doctored and used as blackmail.
"Part of the video was taken years ago when the FOP union office was full of mold and termites," the statement read in part. "Various items including religious books and other miscellaneous items were discarded for health reasons. The books were contaminated due to the mold and termites and needed to discarded [sic] into the trash."
The FOP statement also describes the controversial video as "political blackmail" provoked by a current internal political election cycle.
The attorneys say the sergeant’s words and actions are divisive, so they’re pushing for transparency.
"Transparency in the union. Transparency in the city of Miami, making sure that everybody is getting equal and fair treatment," John Cunill said.
Miami police chief Jorge Colina said Destephan is suspended pending an open internal affairs investigation.
"A disturbing video has surfaced in which a City of Miami Police Sergeant is seen discarding religious contents while making anti-Semitic comments," Colina said in a statement Friday. "The City of Miami Police Department has suspended the employee pending an open Internal Affairs investigation. The actions of this employee were found to be inconsistent with the mission and values of our department. As Chief of Police, I will continue to uphold the expectations of professionalism and ethical behavior of all our officers at all times. I would like to reassure our citizens of all faiths that we stand in solidarity with them."