Internal Affairs Investigation - UPDATE
On 09/18/2019 Chief Gillespie initiated an investigation into the alleged use of a racial slur by a Melbourne police officer. The incident began as a pursuit of a suspect wanted for a felony domestic battery. As the pursuit was ending, the officer was heard on his “in car” audio making a racially derogatory comment. The officer is identified as 4 year veteran Justin Simmons. He has since resigned from the department. The investigation resulted in sustained findings for Professional Conduct and Responsibilities: Conduct Unbecoming and Professional Demeanor
Chief David Gillespie stated, “The Melbourne Police Department will not tolerate racially divisive comments, bias, or insensitivity.” It is critical we have a police department that shows respect for all members of our community. The Melbourne Police Department works very hard to build trust with those we serve and comments like this are divisive.
We are committed to working with our African American leaders to make positive change. We will continue to be transparent and work together to build an agency that all segments of our community are proud of.