Five Gainesville Police Department officers were disciplined after they were found to have violated department conduct rules as result of an internal investigation released Friday.
The completed investigation was connected to improper conduct following the arrest of Terrell Bradley — a Black Gainesville resident who was mauled by a police K-9.
Bradley fled police after an alleged traffic violation July 10. The K-9 found and attacked him, resulting in the loss of his eye, as shown in graphic body camera footage released earlier this month. The incident sparked outrage in the Gainesville community, including calls for the officers involved to be held accountable.
Two officers — Andrew Milman and Matthew Shott — were found to have engaged in an “inappropriate and insensitive” conversation about Bradley on instant messaging system VisiNet.
In a text thread included in the internal investigation report, Shott told Milman July 11 he needed a “damn vacation,” to which Milman replied, “lol your telling me have your heard about my last two weeks.”
Later in the conversation, Shott said he heard Milman “bit someone’s eye off,” in reference to the Bradley incident.
“it twas the nastiest thing ever his eye was split open and just hanging outside of his face,” Milman said in the text.
“I saw the pictures BRAVO,” Shott replied.
“Maybe if these stories get around criminals will stop running from me,” Milman said.
“hopefully not, these bedtimes stories are too good,” Shott said.
“lol I was about to say that would take the fun out of the job,” Milman said.
Shott said he was surprised to see Milman was continuing to perform his duties instead of “glue[d] to the [internal affairs] office chair.”
Milman told Shott he was up to three infractions this year, but two were unfounded and the third was for not turning on his body camera.
“one day ill be as good as you,” Shott said.
In light of the insensitive messages, GPD Chief Lonnie Scott placed both officers on paid administrative suspension, according to the internal investigation report.
Milman and Shott will receive a five-day suspension without pay and training from the City of Gainesville Office of Equity and Inclusion. They will also be removed from GPD’s Field Training Program and required to complete 30 hours of on-duty community engagement, according to the internal investigation report.
Two other officers — Justin Snitselaar and Maurquice Miller — were cited for improperly taking photos of Bradley’s injury on their personal cell phones. Miller failed to submit the photos into evidence, according to the internal investigation report. Officer Dustin Johnson used a department-issued phone to do the same and also failed to submit the photos as evidence.
All three officers will be given a written warning with no further disciplinary action.
“The poor decisions made by the five officers identified in this investigation were addressed and each officer was made aware of the impacts of such behavior and unprofessionalism,” the report read.
Contact Makiya at firstname.lastname@example.org and Alan at email@example.com. Follow them on Twitter @makseminera and @AlanHalaly.
Alan Halaly is a third-year journalism major and the Spring 2023 Editor-in-Chief of The Alligator. He's previously served as Engagement Managing Editor, Metro Editor and Photo Editor. Alan has also held internships with the Miami New Times and The Daily Beast, and spent his first two semesters in college on The Alligator’s Metro desk covering city and county affairs.
Makiya Seminera is a UF international studies and Arabic senior, with a minor in mass communication. She's currently the editor-in-chief of The Alligator, but has previously served as university administration reporter, The Avenue editor, social media manager and opinion editor. She also serves as managing editor for Florida Political Review. Over summer, she interned with The State in Columbia, South Carolina, as a politics & government reporting intern.