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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

GPD punishes officer for involvement in egg–throwing

While the Gainesville Police Department officers involved in the egg-throwing incidents have been given warnings, and two have issued public apologies, University Police Department officer Keith Smith has also been punished as a result of his involvement.

UPD Capt. Jeff Holcomb said Smith was given an oral reprimand, the lowest form of punishment, and was reassigned from the Combined Drug Task Force back to patrol. The oral reprimand was entered into Smith's personnel file, Holcomb said.

The reassignment was not a demotion, he said, and did not involve a pay reduction.

According to UPD's internal affairs investigation, started in November and completed in January, no evidence was found that Smith solicited a prostitute, used derogatory language or threw eggs at anyone or any piece of property.

"I said, 'lets get the hell out of here, this is stupid. Stop yelling at people, it's childish,'" Smith is quoted as saying in the report.

Nevertheless, the investigation concluded that Smith acted inappropriately by being present not once but three times during the incidents. He was also under the influence of alcohol. The report also chastises him for not stopping the behavior he was witnessing.

"He didn't take actual participation in the throwing of the eggs, as we understand," Holcomb said, "but again, by placing himself in that position it just casts a - you know - a poor light on our agency."

The investigation found that Smith was in the company of GPD officers when they drove through the Porters neighborhood-on Nov. 2, Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, possibly yelling at prostitutes and throwing eggs out of the car.

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