‘Un-Christian’: Police officer under fire for LGBTIQ comments


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Stock photo of Victoria Police officers. Image: Julian Meehan/Flickr

A Victoria Police officer’s history of online comments allegedly disparaging the LGBTIQ community has been revealed as he faces internal disciplinary action for a second time.

The Age has published veteran police officer Sergeant Bruno Staffieri’s comments, as the force’s internal watchdog investigates the officer, who’s served in the force for 35 years.

Last month, the force’s Professional Standards Command interviewed the 62-year-old over his posts.

In March, the officer also reportedly posted on Facebook about an ABC News report on a Western Sydney teacher who started a gay pride group for students.

“What a disgrace. Bad enough having gay, non-binary teachers, but to have them push their filth on students is a disgraceful crime. Why can’t we sack these teachers?” Staffieri allegedly posted.

Last November, Staffieri wrote another message to a female officer who works with Gender Equality and Inclusion Command.

“So you are doing tertiary education studying genders. I’ll make it easy for you to pass….there are 2,” he wrote in November.

Officer clashes with Deputy Commissioner

Last June, Staffieri allegedly clashed with Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson on Victoria Police’s internal communications platform Yammer.

Paterson had posted to share that “Victoria Police is proud to have been recognised as a silver employer at the 2021 Australian LGBTQ+ inclusion awards.”

Staffieri allegedly responded two days later, “Yes I agree. Great achievement. But if the public knew how much time, effort and taxpayer dollars went into this, they would also be demanding why we didn’t get a gold.”

Deputy Commissioner Paterson defended the initiative and denied it’d received significant public funding, according to The Age.

Staffieri responded, “Sir, I totally value and respect your opinion and your rank, I simply ask that you value and respect mine.”

Paterson fired back, “I don’t respect or value your views as they are offensive and there’s no place for those views in Victoria Police.

“Either limit your comments on Yammer to comments that are respectful of everyone or consider your employment options.”

Victoria Police officer slams ‘un-Christian activity’

On August 27 last year, Sergeant Staffieri also allegedly took aim at police participation in Wear it Purple Day.

“I don’t think you speak for all of Victoria Police. I, for one, certainly don’t support this nor the groups that keep pushing their personal agendas, he posted on his personal LinkedIn account, The Age reported.

Staffieri went on, “I can’t see why we continue to throw taxpayer money at this sort of un-Christian activity.”

The officer also publicly criticised the state government’s decision to cancel Australia Day and Anzac Day celebrations last year, but allow the Midsumma Pride March to go ahead.

“So the next time Australians are sent out to fight a war, maybe we can send out the 8000 that marched today, and try to stop the enemy by waving feathers and brightly coloured boas at them,” Staffieri posted in May 2021.

“I’m sure that will stop any invading army in its tracks.”

Disciplinary breach for LGBTIQ comments

In December, Victoria Police slapped Sergeant Staffieri with a disciplinary breach over his commentary.

Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh informed Sergeant Staffieri his comments reflected an “adverse view of the LGBTIQ+ community”. As a result they were in breach of the force’s professional and ethical standards, Walsh declared.

However, The Age has reported a cohort of the veteran officer’s colleagues have defended his right to express opinions on Victoria Police’s internal messaging platform.

Victoria Police and Sergeant Staffieri have not commented publicly on the disciplinary action.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter Turner
    12 May 2022
    Reply

    Anyone who thinks this guy’s views are an isolated case should think again.

    There are many within our Police forces who share Staffieri’s views. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is alive and well.

  2. Ken Hooke
    12 May 2022
    Reply

    As a Nonagenarian, I’ve been around a long time and have found that there are a number of people who endeavour to cover their own indiscretions by denigrating others .
    I Paste below a quote from Shakespear’s Hamlet.

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks,’ is one of those lines from Shakespeare that is so very simple, but expresses enormous complexity of thought and emotion. It is spoken by Prince Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, in Act 3, Scene 2 of the play, Hamlet.

    The phrase is used frequently in modern English discourse, usually in the form of a slight reversal: ‘methinks the lady doth protest too much.’ With the ‘methinks’ at the beginning. It’s a cynical, ironic, somewhat sarcastic comment about someone overdoing a denial, suggesting that they are, indeed, to some degree guilty.

    What say you ?

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