A Sheriff’s deputy in Florida has been fired on Aug. 26 after his insensitive remarks about George Floyd and an inmate’s appearance were reported to the Sheriff’s Office for alleged misconduct. 

Former Deputy First Class Rodney Payne has officially been sacked after two claims of improper conduct were put forward regarding his behavior while working in the Florida Core Facility Community Programs Unit in corrections in July 2021, USA Today said.

Payne remarked that an inmate he was jailing looked like George Floyd, and attempted to get him to say “I can’t breathe,” in reference to the sentence that George Floyd repeated as he was choked by Derek Chauvin. 

His supervisor immediately disciplined the man, but a fellow inmate reported the behavior to the system, the New York Daily News said. 

Payne claimed that this was just his type of humor when interacting with the inmates, but admitted that in retrospect, the remarks were insensitive. A supervisor for the Sheriff’s Office believes that a riot could have started if those remarks remained unpunished. 

This comes as the four officers responsible for George Floyd’s death plead not guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights when Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, with the officers doing nothing to intervene on the situation, according to al-Jazeera.

Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao were indicted for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, with Lane, Kueng, and Thao requesting a separate civil trial from Chauvin on the grounds that they will be unfairly prejudiced when paired with him. 

The Department of Justice is also investigating police conduct to see if there is a pattern or practice of unlawful or unconstitutional conduct among the police of the country so that they can create preventive policies against that culture.

This also comes as local police across the country are revising their approach to small crimes in an attempt to dissuade another scandal of unlawful use of force from happening, with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland promising better federal oversight among local police units.

munshots-_vAC0je-hKo-unsplash A mural of George Floyd remembers the man who was choked by police officer Derek Chauvin for nine minutes, as a Sheriff's deputy was fired for joking about the incident. This is a representational image. munshots/Unsplash.