The Broward Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday provided TPM with a copy of the disciplinary action report for a sergeant who wore a patch referring to the “QAnon” conspiracy theory in a photo with Vice President Mike Pence.
On Monday, the sheriff’s office removed Sgt. Matt Patten from the SWAT team and another office. The reprimand document provided to TPM confirms reporting from BuzzFeed News and others that Patten intentionally put on the patch to “pose” with Pence.
Gina Carter, a spokesperson for the office, told TPM in an email: “Sgt. Matt Patten was issued a written reprimand. He was also removed from BSO’s Strategic Investigations Division’s Office of Homeland Security. Additionally, he has been removed from our agency’s SWAT Team and will be re-assigned to the Department of Law Enforcement.”
Patten, the reprimand says, “intentionally placed an unauthorized symbol/patch onto his agency issued SWAT vest to meet and pose with V.P.O.T.U.S. Pence.”
QAnon is a mind-numbingly expansive conspiracy theory popularized on the anonymous message board 4chan. As the sheriff’s office reprimand states, “Qanon is ultra-supportive of the President Trump Administration and aligns itself with theoretical alternative meanings behind political happenings.”
The reprimand said “public alignment and representation of such a group is in contrast with the core values of political neutrality within the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”
Patten was reprimanded for “Conduct Unbecoming An Employee,” and his signature on the document indicates he accepted “an ‘Admit and Move On’ option.”
Read Patten’s reprimand below: