A woman who answered Engle’s phone said he was not available to comment.
Chief of Staff of the Florida Police Order Mike Tucker wrote the letter to Davie City administrator Richard Lemack based on reports from members of the Davie Police Department.
In response, Tucker said, Engle “depreciated” them during a patrol briefing and ordered them to stand in formation, “like the cadets returning to the police academy.” Then, Tucker said, he yelled at members for raising “baseless” concerns about the virus.
It was then that he began to make disparaging remarks about MP Bennett, said Tucker.
Tucker said members of the Davie Police Department told him that Engle said something about Bennett’s “shading” and implied that Bennett had contracted and died from coronavirus because he was “a homosexual who attended homosexual events. “
“The inference reported is that it was because of this homosexual lifestyle that Member of Parliament Bennett first contracted a serious underlying illness that aggravated the Covid-19 virus and led to his death,” said Tucker writes in the letter.
Later, Tucker said, Engle tried to “pick up on some of his comments” about Bennett in an email to the department. Engle told the officers to contact him directly to express his concerns, “something the intimidated subordinates obviously would not do, especially in the aftermath of this incident,” Tucker wrote.
“If this is true, and remarks have been made to somehow correlate MP Bennett’s sexual orientation to his death from Covid-19, (this) is something that remains confused for us and would be frankly inappropriate at best and at worst, discriminatory and absolutely unacceptable. “Said Tucker later in a video.
Fiancé: Bennett had no underlying condition before the diagnosis of Covid-19
Bennett, a 12-year-old sheriff’s veteran, was a school resource officer who was hired to marry Jonathan Frey later this year. The Broward sheriff’s office described him as a “gay and proud member of the law enforcement community” who protected and supervised the students he worked with.
Frey called the comments reported “completely false, homophobic and slanderous” in a statement to CNN WPLG’s affiliate.
In a previous interview with WPLG, Frey said that Bennett had no underlying medical condition before his diagnosis. He had developed a mild headache a few days earlier and was finally having trouble breathing, so Frey took him to the emergency room. It was the last time the two saw each other.
“It’s not the end of who he is,” said Frey. “I care a lot about him. He was the love of my life and I know his legacy will last, one way or another. But he was a beautiful soul. “
CNN’s Alta Spells and Pamela Wessmann contributed to this report.