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COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami) – A veteran Coconut Creek Police Officer who made a snide and disparaging comment about student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be suspended from his job without pay for 5 days and undergo sensitivity training, the city’s police chief told CBS 4 News.

The fallout from the comment by Officer Brian Valenti will result in all Coconut Creek city employees undergoing training in the proper use of social media for personal use in the near future.

Valenti is a K-9 officer for the Coconut Creek Police Department. He’s been with the agency for 23 years but despite a distinguished career he is now known for a nasty comment he made on a social media post about last week’s die-in protest at Publix organized by survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Student activists like David Hogg made their voices heard regarding campaign contributions by the grocery store giant to politicians who support the NRA. Meanwhile, Officer Valenti posted on Facebook that maybe an old lady would lose control of her car in the Publix lot where some of the students drew chalk outlines to signify the number of dead in the February 14th school shooting…

“He made a horrible error in judgment,” said Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal, who admitted he was aghast at the comment made by the veteran officer over the weekend.

“When we are on or off duty we have a special role in our community and he understands that,” Arenal said. “He is extremely remorseful and is very embarrassed by the situation.”

Arenal said there were calls to fire Valenti — mostly from people out of state — but judging him by his career with the city and his remorse, Arenal felt a 5-day suspension without pay and remedial training stood as a sufficient punishment. Arenal said no one believes Valenti was advocating violence against the students.

“If we felt in any way, shape or form that this was an actual threat against people, with an intent to carry it out, obviously that would be a completely different set of circumstances,” Arenal said.

Arenal also said that what bothers him most is that Coconut Creek and its officers worked closely with Stoneman Douglas students and the city of Parkland since the shooting and done little things like putting MSD Strong stickers on all their police vehicles to show solidarity. He hopes this one comment doesn’t undo all of that.

“There’s just nothing worse that could happen than to create a perception that out officers have any ill will towards these kids,” Arenal said.

Rod Skirvin is the union representative for the Coconut Creek Police. He told CBS 4 News that Valenti is deeply embarrassed about what happened and thought his comment was being posted on a private forum.

““He’s distraught over the fact that he’s brought embarrassment to the department, the city, police in general,” Skirven said.

The union rep said Valenti is receiving threats and plans to apologize to anyone he hurt by his comment.

David Hogg and his mother are expected to meet with the city’s police chief and possibly Officer Valenti.

Comments (48)
  1. Disarming the People is a sinister objective masquerading as compassion for children. These kids probably don’t know this yet, as their knowledge of world history must be scant. Those of us who do should redouble our efforts to illustrate to others the folly of such things, and without resorting to reactionary lip-jacking like this cop.

  2. Mike Gilmer says:

    David Hogg is not a survivor of the school shooting. By his own admission, he was at home at the time.

  3. Hogg needs to apologize to the rest of the country and this officer for being such a misguided little fool.

  4. gregnh says:

    He is not a survivor! He was home and rode his bike to the school to get on camera after it was over.

  5. Hogg is not a “survivor” of the school shooting – he was not there. If Hogg is a survivor so am I. That said, Hogg is not worthy of respect – this cop had done more for the USA in one day that Hogg will do his entire life.

  6. And yet that little knob gobbler Hogg can say whatever he likes and is feted like a Roman Gladiator by the Lamestream.

  7. While the comment maybe a little over the top, I think we should keep in mind the reckless role David Hogg has played. That is one of the problems with “activism”, the idea becomes more important than people. That is why it is so easy for anarchivists to try to destroy people’s lives, in pursuit of their manifesto!

  8. Kevin Rogers says:

    Thou shalt not express conservative comments, even through sarcasm, in public. They will find you and come for you.

  9. George Lortz says:

    Maybe you shouldn’t be laying down in a parking lot where vehicles are coming and going. Maybe you should really reflect on the stupidity of yout protest. Hogg is an imbecile.

  10. Leftists hate free speech.

  11. What? For insulting that little hoggzoid liar. I do it every chance I get. He is betraying the American people!!! The grocery store should have had those die-inidjits arrested if they didn’t leave when asked.

  12. Patt Shields says:

    So this chief is another coward bowing to the weak and misinformed.

  13. Crisis actor Hogg should be beaten into a coma and have his plug pulled.

  14. Here we go again…The police department will be shut down for a whole day in order for everyone to attend Starbuck’s sensitivity training for vagrants and snowflakes.

  15. I hope Hoggs keeps it up because it only helps the NRA.

  16. Stu Pedasso says:

    Political correctness is just tyranny with a Happy Face. So much for free speech, eh?

  17. Nice K-9 Belgian Malinois offiNice K-9 Belgian Malinois officer! Looks like mine. And keep in mind you have Free Speech rights under the US Constitution so don’t back down to little man Hogg and his mommy!cer! Looks like mine. And keep in mind you have Free Speech rights under the US Constitution so don’t back down to little man Hogg and his mommy!

  18. Much Ado About Nothing.
    Fake Students
    Fake Outlines

  19. Fred Stevens says:

    Hogg is not a survivor of the shooring. He was not at school when it happened. He’s just a liberal mouthpiece spewing anti-American propaganda.

  20. David Hogg’s push to disarm law abiding Americans will nothing to stop criminals or crazies or terrorists from obtaining weapons.

    What about his ex-LEO’s father’s firearms? How may does he have. What kind of safe does he have. On-going training? Mental health screening for his son

    “Gun Control” is not about guns, it’s about control. David Hogg a wannabe fascist.

  21. “Maybe an old lady…”, isn’t saying “I wish” or “I hope…”. NOT a threat. And why is Hogg singled out as the fake victim? There were other protesters. Fake on fake on fake!
    Stand by your statement, as a joke or even off-color…but DO NOT apologize to these people. Ever. It doesn’t work.
    There is patriot support for people who FIGHT these bullies, and who DEFEND their 1A rights! There are heroes of freedom rising and growing, everyday,… the tables are turning.

  22. What is the uproar all about, mentioning some old lady running over chalk outlines?!?
    “Officer Valenti posted on Facebook that maybe an old lady would lose control of her car in the Publix lot where some of the students ( Drew is past tense, meaning it was already done)chalk outlines to signify the number of dead in the February 14th school shooting…” Now if he mentioned ‘were drawing’ it would be a whole different thing, worthy of a suspension. I may be using semantics but getting all worked up over silly comments posted online is plain STUPID.

  23. Jerrod Mason says:

    The Chief and his snowflake supporters are the ones who need a dose of reality. I’m delighted to see that the comments are 100% opposed to the Chief and the chief brat.

  24. David Ward says:

    Nothing like silencing Adults over petulant, incalcitrant snowflake brats, thrown into the CNN world of vacuous opportunists for their 15 minutes of contrived fame.

  25. Never criticise a snowflake liberal like this officer or Roseanne have. The left and their hypocritical MSM will never allow you to do what snowflakes do to conservatives every day.

  26. The thought control police are out in numbers. Private comments are private comments. As long as he is doing his job properly, there is nothing they should be able to do. I would get a lawyer and see what they have to say about that.

  27. Why is David Hogg exempt from criticism? Who else is above criticism on social media? This is modern McCarthyism. People punished for political positions that do not please the ruling class. Remember that the Hollywood blacklist was done by private companies, just like Google et al. do now.

  28. So David Hogg, has good intentions, to stop the shooting, but he is really a mindless pawn, being used by an agenda driven group to remove guns from the USA.
    First of all David, you were not a survivor, you were not even in school during the shooting.
    Second David, from the way you act since the shooting, you show every sign of being the bully type that has caused all these shootings.
    Being the tough guy hurts others, like the shooters, kept taking the verbal tough guy abuse until the shooter’s mind snaps.
    Bullies, are the guns.
    The students are the bullets.
    All the students who stand around and say nothing when a bully attacks someone. No one sticks the neck out to tell the bully to back off, and tell the bully, heh , stop picking on that student, putting him or her down to make you feel like a big man, boost your own ego.

    So it all comes down to facing the TRUTH, All the kids in a school that had a shooting are the cause of the shooter, to lose it and find a way to have revenge.

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