A sheriff's deputy in Broward County, Florida, was reprimanded and reassigned after he was photographed wearing a "QAnon" conspiracy patch on his SWAT vest while meeting with Vice President Mike Pence last week.
Sgt. Matt Patten was issued a written reprimand and removed from the Broward Sheriff's Office Strategic Investigations Division’s Office of Homeland Security and from the department's SWAT team and reassigned to the Department of Law Enforcement, BSO officials said in a statement Monday.
Patten, who has been with the department since 1987, was a member of the BSO SWAT team that was assisting the Secret Service with the security detail during Pence's trip to South Florida Friday to speak at the Israeli-American Conference.
A photo posted on Pence's Twitter account that was later deleted showed the VP with a group of SWAT team members, including Patten, who had the red and black patch on the front of his vest. It features a large "Q" and the phrase "question the narrative," which is tied to a far-right conspiracy theory.
Patten "intentionally placed an unauthorized symbol/patch onto his agency issued SWAT vest to meet and pose with V.P.O.T.U.S. Pence," a BSO memo reads. He was disciplined for "conduct unbecoming an employee."
The memo said the patch's symbolism is controversial and goes against BSO's "core values of political neutrality."
"Sergeant Patten's actions of displaying unity with controversial group not in alignment with the core values of law enforcement and the Broward Sheriff's Office discredited the agency, the county, and himself," the memo read.