Riviera police officer resigns under pressure - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Riviera police officer resigns under pressure

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Alex Freeman wanted to become Riviera Beach’s chief of police. Now, he resigned under pressure from Interim Police Chief Michael Madden.

Freeman’s dreams to become police chief were denied by former City Manager Jonathan Evans, who said he wasn’t qualified for the position. 

A few weeks later Evans was fired. 

In Freeman’s resignation letter, he cites that he has no longer the time to serve as a reserve officer.

But according to an internal memo, exclusively obtained by Contact 5, Freeman was asked to resign by Madden over an incident involving an RV.

The report says on March 13, an RV was improperly parked. 

WPTV reported the RV was operated by Lydia Smith, who almost became city manager twice. Smith, who called some residents “roaches” on social media, is currently running for mayor. 

Smith was asked to move her RV. When she refused, police responded and she got into a shouting match with officers. 

On March 13 she called Freeman for help. He went to the scene, off duty and not in uniform. 

The report says Freeman was informed that the RV had to be moved. “Instead of complying,” the report said, “Freeman engaged in a verbal dispute with” two sergeants. 

Freeman remained defiant, the report says, and he told one sergeant the RV can stay or the sergeant “will be dealing with me soon”. The sergeant took that as a threat, the report continues. 

It’s not the first time Freeman has been reported for making threats. In 2017 he left this voicemail to a former law enforcement officer.

“If you continue to text me, you're going to be - you're going to feel my wrath and I can guarantee you that. I know you think you big and bad with your little motorcycle gang but if you continue to text me, you're going to feel sorry that you're not prepared for and I guarantee that."

In 2008, an officer reported Freeman held him against his will in his office and threatened him with disciplinary actions.

"I am going to be here a long time," Freeman allegedly said. "I will always outrank you."

On May 10 Freeman resigned, following the letter by Madden.

“Considering the totality of this incident, combined with Officer Freeman’s lack of participation in the Reserve Officers’ program, I recommend he resigns, or be dismissed from the program,” Madden wrote.

Freeman is currently running for Palm Beach County Sheriff. 

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