Investigation ends in suspension for TPD officer

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer

Without naming the officer involved, Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell announced that investigation of a racial post on social media last month has resulted in an 80-hour suspension and demotion for the officer.

The suspension is the result of a July 9 post by the officer who has since been identified as Sgt. Gavin Larremore. His post was a reaction to a Tallahassee Black Lives mural painted on Gaines Street where it intersects with Rail Road.

Revell announced the department’s findings last week.

“Today marked the conclusion of a thorough Internal Affairs investigation into a questionable social media post made by a member of the Tallahassee Police Department on July 9, 2020,” Revell said in a statement. “The findings substantiated violations of TPD social media and rules of conduct policies. Based on this conclusion, the officer has been placed on an 80-hour unpaid suspension and is being demoted. Additionally, he will be required to undergo counseling.”

TPD Chief Lawrence Revell said the officer involved in a racial social media post has been suspended and demoted.
City of Tallahassee photo

Larremore called the Black Lives Matter protesters a “gang of loudmouths that damaged businesses downtown, unlawfully restricted the free movement of the city’s law abiding citizens, attacking civilians and officers (including me personally).”

Larremore has been with the department for 18 years. His reaction to the mural came at height of protesting locally and across the country over the killing of George Floyd by a former Minnesota police officer.

Responding to Revell’s decision, Larremore said he his comments didn’t violate any policy and that they were made while he was off duty. He also said he was exercising his First Amendment rights. 

 “I merely discussed how officers and civilians were attacked and LEO families were threatened by numbers of a violent political group,” Larremore wrote in his letter to Revell.  “While there are certainly some law-abiding members of Black Lives Matter, there are nonetheless numerous individuals associated with that organization nationwide who are intent on being destructive and violent. I was both a witness to and a victim of the criminal action perpetrated by that faction of the Black Lives movement. To deny that there is a violent and destructive element within the Black Lives Matter political movement is to exalt fantasy over truth. As I stated in my interview, many of the people responsible for these actions were Caucasian, so race was never an issue.”

The mural painted in yellow is similar to other paintings in several other cities.

“As Chief of Police, I called for this investigation because I hold every representative of TPD to the highest standard, whether on duty or off,” Revell also said in his statement. “As we work to strengthen our relationships within the community, I am committed to ensuring we serve all citizens with trust and respect.”