A senior Victorian police office is once again facing the heat over anti-LGBTQI online posts.
Sergeant Bruno Staffieri is being investigated by Victoria Police’s internal watchdog Professional Standards Command over his social media posts, The Age reported.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses homophobic and transphobic comments, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Officer Opposes Police Walking In Pride March
Staffieri was investigated for the first time last year when he criticised the Victorian government over its decision to cancel Australia Day and Anzac Day celebrations (on account of COVID-19 restrictions), but allow the Midsumma Pride march in St Kilda (when restrictions had eased).
In a post on May 17, 2021 he said: “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.”
A month later he took on Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson on Yammer, the police’s internal communication platform, The Age said.
Paterson had posted about Victoria Police being recognised as a silver employer at the 2021 Australian LGBTQ+ inclusion awards. Staffieri questioned the spending of taxpayer dollars, which was disputed by Paterson, who said that no public money had been spent on the campaign.
Calls For Sacking Of Gay Teachers
Staffieri, however, continued to make homophobic and transphobic posts. In March, he shared on Facebook an ABC report about a teacher who had founded an LGBTQI pride group for students at a school in Sydney.
“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 said.
In another post in November he had mocked a colleague Bonnie Loft, 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,” Staffieri posted.
Last year in August, Staffieri had discouraged fellow police officers from wearing purple clothing to show support for inclusivity.
“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. I can’t see why we continue to throw taxpayer money at this sort of un-Christian activity,” the veteran officer posted on his LinkedIn account.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.