CONSEQUENCES

Sheriff Punishes SWAT Officer Who Wore QAnon Patch in Pence Photo

The Florida SWAT officer who was photographed with Vice President Mike Pence while wearing a patch supporting QAnon will be punished, according to law-enforcement officials. Broward County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Matt Patten intentionally wore a patch that said “Q” while working on Pence’s security detail last week, according to an internal report. Patten intended to use his proximity to Pence to promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that President Trump is in engaged in a secret war with high-ranking Democratic pedophiles.

An internal investigation found that Patten violated conduct rules by putting the patch on his SWAT uniform. As punishment, Patten received a written reprimand and was removed from the SWAT team. “‘Q’ is representative of a controversial conservative political conspiracy group identified as ‘Qanon,’” the reprimand reads. “Qanon is ultra-supportive of the President Trump Administration and aligns itself with theoretical alternative meaning behind political happenings.” QAnon believers saw Patten’s patch, which was first reported by RightWingWatch reporter Jared Holt, as proof that the White House supports the ludicrous movement, especially after Pence tweeted the picture from his account. The tweet was later deleted after the QAnon connection was pointed out.

—Will Sommer