A Broward County Sheriff’s deputy was suspended Tuesday as officials are investigating how parts of surveillance footage from Friday’s deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International airport made it to TMZ.
“This is a heinous, heinous act and it’s despicable and it’s discouraging that someone would do this,” said Broward County Mayor Barbara Sherief.
Veteran deputy Michael Dingman was suspended on Tuesday.
“We were just very disheartened and very concerned that this person had still security clearance,” Sherief said.
Dingman was suspended with pay. He has been working for the sheriff’s office since 1996 and makes around $76,000 a year.
Another concern for county leaders is that TMZ is known to pay sources. Investigators are also looking into that but because it’s an ongoing investigation couldn’t release more details.
Investigators arrived at Dingman as a suspect for the leak after they enhanced the TMZ footage. It appears the suspect had been filming the video with a cell phone off a screen. In the reflection, investigators were able to make out details of the suspect.
“We (enhanced) the footage and were able to make out the logo that lead us to the agency,” Sherief said.
Dingman had been working for the sheriff’s office at the airport for the last 5 years. On Sunday afternoon, airport officials watched their surveillance footage on national TV.
“We immediately contacted law enforcement and asked them to launch an investigation in partnership with the aviation department,” said Greg Meyer, spokesperson with the Broward County Aviation Department.
The FBI is investigating. Sherief said investigators want to make sure to bring whoever is responsible for the leak to swift justice.
If found guilty, Dingman could face federal charges since the footage is sensitive to a federal investigation.