A career-ending photo surfaced online of a Florida sheriff’s deputy bragging about almost shooting someone.
According to The Root, 23-year-old Deputy Austen Callus posted the photo to Snapchat on Sunday which features himself sitting in a car wearing plain clothes with the caption, “Nothing like almost shooting someone to set your head right lol. God I gate (sic) people with knives.” The use of “gate” was presumably a typo intended to say “hate.”
Callus was reportedly referring to a domestic violence incident he responded to while on duty.
By Thursday, the image had made its way back to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who fired Callus. Gualtieri said the photo sparked doubts about Callus’ mentality while out in the field.
“If you make that kind of a statement … you’re not going to be employed here as a deputy sheriff because it calls into question your thoughts, your motives, and certainly leaves the deputy and the agency in a very bad situation if something were to happen in the future,” Gualtieri said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Apparently, even when the investigation of the photo took place, Callus’ explanation did not give Gualtieri any peace of mind about his conduct, thus prompting the sheriff to give the deputy the boot.
“So we can’t have somebody as a deputy who makes that kind of a statement … when he’s going through all this personal turmoil that’s going on,” the sheriff said.
The “turmoil” Callus is supposedly going through refers to a recent break-up that has led him to drinking, which was brought to light by a friend of his who initially reported the disturbing photo.
Regardless, he should be smart enough to leave his personal baggage at the door when he goes to work as a deputy.
Gualtieri made the right call by letting Callus go. The former deputy is clearly too immature for a career in law enforcement, and the very last thing America needs is more trigger-happy cops. Good riddance.