Turns out sometimes there ARE consequences for people who are extremely stupid and/or do extremely stupid things. No, I'm not talking about Orange Hitler, I'm talking about Sgt. Matt Patten of Florida's Broward County Sheriff's Department. He wore a QAnon patch during an event with Vice President Mike Pence at Ft. Lauderdale's airport last Friday. Pence was photographed with him yukking it up, and Pence even posted the photos to Twitter. (Still waiting on Pence's consequences...)
Jared Holt, a reporter for Right Wing Watch, noticed the patch, wrote about it, and it wasn't long before Pence took a pair of Twitter scissors to the pic and reposted it without Sgt. QAnon. To add substantial insult to injury — and maybe a paycut? — Broward County Sheriff's office demoted Patten for wearing the patch. It was not part of the uniform, and frankly, it was embarrassing. They have so much to be embarrassed about, they don't need anything more.
According to Jerry Iannelli, writing in the Miami New Times,
BSO on Friday said Patten's "Question the Narrative" patch was not authorized by the department. Today the office issued Patten a written reprimand, stating the conspiracy theory was "controversial" and made BSO seem "biased" politically. BSO also claimed the incident embarrassed the department and brought negative news coverage in many national and international outlets, including the Washington Post and CNN. BSO is struggling to rehabilitate its image after multiple missteps during the Parkland massacre; this controversy does not help matters.
"This resulted in negative ramifications on a national platform as a controversy for the Broward Sheriff's Office, the County, the SWAT team, and Sergeant Patten," a copy of the reprimand says. "The controversy also caused the V.P.O.T.U.S. Office Website to delete the image."
Jack Crosbie, of Splinter astutely pointed out,
Patten was a 27-year veteran of the department and had presumably worked for years to get a place on the SWAT and Strategic Investigations teams, which is a bit scary to think about considering he was dumb enough to wear a conspiracy theory patch with the vice president. Maybe he did it as a joke, but either way, the image of a heavily-armed dude wearing Q gear isn’t something a comforting sight.
Not that Mike Pence or the Sheriff's Department of Broward County might necessarily have a problem with QAnon itself. It's just embarrassing. And we can't have that, these days, can we?