A Fort Lauderdale police sergeant has been accused of trying to prevent his department from participating in the city’s annual Pride parade.
Hugo Fontalvo claimed he was concerned about security when he suggested the mounted police not be involved in last year’s celebration in Wilton Manor. But an internal investigation found his “personal beliefs were pushed on everyone in the mounted unit, regardless of whether it was wanted or not.”
When he couldn’t stop his unit from participating, South Florida Gay News reports, Fontalvo insisted having an officer on horseback carry a Pride flag was a safety issue.
Interestingly, Fontalvo—who wasn’t scheduled to work the parade—saw no issue with officers carrying the Florida flag and the U.S. flag while on horseback.
“Sergeant Fontalvo’s irrational decision and poor judgement embarrassed members of his unit and portrayed the agency in a negative light,” the report claimed. “In the hours leading up to the parade, Sergeant Fontalvo became increasingly irritated and upset over the decision to carry the Pride flag,” the report reads. “The evidence clearly demonstrated his relentless drive to keep ‘his’ Mounted Unit from participating in the parade.”
After successfully blocking his officers from carrying the Pride flag, Fontalvo exclaimed, “See. This is Jesus. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. This is Jesus.”
It was also revealed Fontalvo held prayer sessions throughout the day. Officers reported they were afraid to express concern about “the public display of religious rhetoric” for fear of being transferred.